We have been watching the current series of Strictly and are struck by the way the celebrities gain both confidence and skills over the series.
Underneath all the glitter and pizazz we have a range of different personalities bringing their own personal brand of energy to the show.
As the show progresses, we note the change as the more exuberant become more controlled in their actions while the nervous are learning to enjoy the experience. Some of those we thought would do well are slowly disappearing through the voting process, those that appear less gifted are still in the contest. A testament to hard work or, the results of being popular perhaps.
Sounds like a simile of the international trading game to us because that is exactly how companies approach new markets. Some are hugely enthusiastic, learning quickly that they really need to be diligent in record keeping. Others belong to the slow and steady group, learning by doing and undertaking training at their pace. The last group is, of course, those who really shouldn’t be encouraged to sell to overseas markets – yet!
We are constantly being asked by companies if we could ‘just’ tell them about a query they have.
Sadly ‘just’ is never enough, just as a ‘fleckerl’ is not enough to fulfil a whole dance routine. Businesses need to know the rules of what you can do and most importantly what you shouldn’t. Avoiding fines, missing goods or delays at borders (or in our comparison receiving a 2 from Craig) is not the way to make a success of any growth strategy – in any country.
Success and sustainability in overseas markets can only be achieved if you understand your responsibilities, are in control of your supply chain and your processes and, have the ability and courage to scale. Companies need to be both visible and credible to attract and retain potential customers. New ways of doing things need to be established and learnt just like the experience of the celebrities in Strictly. In the current uncertain economic climate that is sometimes a challenge for ambition, like having to dance a Samba to the music of a Viennese Walz with a bit of Charleston thrown in! At International Trade Matters, we like to think we are like Anton as he brings together a kindness in his comments, practical advice and scores. We too offer advice, support, training and encouragement but never, ever just a ‘just’.