What confidence can mean to a business.
The British have been happily measuring this enigmatic feeling since 1958, for there is nothing more we like as a nation than attaching a number to something.
It makes the intangible tangible and the unmanageable, manageable; something we can list, something we can compare and comment on.
But what does having “business confidence” really mean to start-up, or small individual business owners with regard to their companies and their thoughts on current and future planning?
An ITA’s role is to encourage business confidence.
As an ITA (International Trade Advisor) my role, and that of my 60 plus colleagues here in the South East and London, is to instil and encourage business confidence.
For those beginning, or in the early stages of building a new business, nothing can stop that individual drive, and belief in your business as much as the lack of confidence can.
When you take that product or service into the real world, the myriad and seemingly endless amount of tax, personal, business, legal, national and local business requirements / laws can be a hammer blow.
So when a business contacts the Department for International Trade, and an ITA is allocated to them, the confidence building can begin from that instant.
Free advice, free expert guidance and free ongoing support is a great beginning on that path.
The vast majority of ITA’s have decades of business skills, with hands on business ownership or managing international companies, they understand those confidence issues first hand.
An ITA does not get paid by the hour, is not selling products and is not looking to hit a sales target. We have only one goal, to get our clients in the right market and then secure them long term, consistent exports.
That ability to go through the most basic of business needs, from the core understanding of export documentation right through to gaining an International distributor, is done with no fuss or worry.
We spend many hours listening to business owners. We review, question and encourage, helping to declutter and to offer a pathway that allows the business owner to have confidence that we can support their goals.
Over the last 6 months I have been mentoring a start up in the Fashion field. They produce a small range of high quality, British made ethical designs. The expertise, quality and passion were all there, they just felt that they were not “big” enough to export and feared their clothing would simply disappear amongst the bigger brands.
I knew they had not only a stylish product, but were very current with designing an ethical clothing line, I believed they would most certainly stand out.
So we decided that it would be a great experience for them to “walk the floors” for day or two during Paris Fashion week. Not only did they get a first taste of the excitement of this key event, but saw how many smaller, independent designers were showing. We arranged a small number of meetings and the positive feedback and comments they received brought added vitality, belief and confidence in their clothing range and their place in the fashion marketplace. We are now planning their first International fashion trade show.
Confidence, especially in the business community is fickle thing. Confidence in our clients’ business, in their passion and in their abilities is something we never doubt and have 100% confidence in.