What we've written about exporting

4 weeks ago

Is your business booming?

Written by Natalie, discussed by No one

I’ve spent the day listening to Business is Booming from TVNZ on demand. It’s on tv in New Zealand on Saturday mornings at 8am, but for those of us who sleep in and don’t like ads it’s all online. (The TVNZ website is a little weird, so go here and search for ‘Business is Booming’ to view the episodes or Subscribe to the Business is Booming RSS feed)

Business is Booming is not like regular tv and that’s a good thing. Chocka block full of stories about successful businesses, tips for planning for tax, exporting, growth and how to make your business more sustainable, it’s a must see for every business owner. There’s no drama or tantrums in this program, just good quality advice and stories, like tv should be. It’s also pretty incredible the people they have on the programme, move over Donald Trump - some of NZ’s most successful business people and companies willingly give their time to pass on what they know. Even if you don’t live in New Zealand, take a look, laugh a our kiwi accents and get some really good advice from some really successful businesses who are making it happen.

2 months ago

The secrets to export success

Written by Natalie, discussed by No one

(We think)

Join us at the Emerging Exporter’s showcase, where PlanHQ and fellow finalists Pure New Zealand Foods and Pacific Perfumes talk about our secrets to export success. All of us have been exporting for less than 3 years, so what we have to say for people interested in selling internationally will hopefully we fairly relevant :)

When: 5pm-7pm, Monday 10th September
Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce,
Level 28, The Majestic Center,
100 Willis Street

RSVP to ‘events at wellingtonchamber.co.nz’

PDF: Showcase Wellington’s Emerging Exporters

2 months ago

PlanHQ is a finalist in the Wellington Exporter Awards!

Written by Natalie, discussed by No one

PlanHQ has just been announced as a finalist in the Wellington Emerging Export of the Year Awards. We are quietly chuffed with our success over the past 11 months (has it only been that long???) and it’s nice to celebrate!

Tim will be in the US for the gala evening, but Nik has already got big plans to rent a tux and the rest of us are not far behind. It should be a great night, except the part where they show our video presentation… Turns out I’m like a rabbit caught in the headlights when I’m put in front of a camera and the poor guy had to rewind the video about a million times. Luckily Tim is a pro.

If you want to come along to enjoy the glow of Wellington export success, get your invite here. Tickets are $150, but you get a nice dinner, drinks and to watch me make a fool of myself!

3 months ago

Going global from the web

Written by Tim, discussed by 1 person

Theres a lot of talk about being a global business, but when you’re a web based business its just the way you operate. The PlanHQ team is based in Wellington New Zealand, but the majority of our customers are from the US with others from the UK, Australia, and plenty of other places across the world.

We’re running an evening session here in Wellington telling with the Wellington Chamber of Commerce on how we’ve gone global from the web. PlanHQ still has a way to go yet, but we’re enjoying having a global community of growing businesses all planning their way to success and making it happen, and here’s a chance to see how we’ve done it, so register if you’re keen, otherwise we will be posting the video on here.

If you’re keen to come checkout this PDF for more info: PlanHQ - going global from the web

3 months ago

How to get people begging to import your stuff

Written by Natalie, discussed by No one

Trilogy Skincare is a local Wellington company, started by sisters Sarah and Catherine 4 1/2 years ago. In that time they have managed to get on the shelves of the worlds most luxurious retailers, outsell Garnier and Revlon skincare products in New Zealand, and build their $20,000 initial investment into a massively successful company.

How do they do it?

I was lucky enough to be part of their audience at the small business expo to find out how the accountant and the journalist went from having the idea of making natural, sustainable skincare to making it happen.

Outsource Everything

Sarah and Catherine ran Trilogy alone for the first 2 years. Everything from manufacturing to branding to sales were outsourced, and will continue to be outsourced until they grow large enough to slowly take it over. Trilogy are experts at Skincare, doing anything else should be done by someone else.

Be careful who you sell to

Trilogy had no less than 82 approaches last year to import their products… They only accepted one. They stuck to their plan of attacking the UK and Australian markets first and getting products into stores like Harrods. Their market is a small community, so it wasn’t long before 5th Avenue came knocking on their door - yes that’s right, no cold calls and long nights wondering how to get into the US market, Trilogy set themselves up so well the US market came to them.

Marketing with no Money

Trilogy are self funded and want to keep it that way. There was no room in their initial $20,000 budget to spend on advertising, so they relied on Catherines knowledge of the media to drum up free PR - which they now suspect has a total value of about $10 million. Featuring in magazines such as Marie Claire, Vogue, Elle and the Daily Express (which resulted in them getting totally out of stock) offers priceless publicity, and they got it for free. Their advice? If you’ve got an interesting story, tell it… And remember it’s not what you know, it’s who you know

They have no marketing department. Everyone who works at or for Trilogy, including their 11 fulltime and 7 parttime staff, the retailers and the sales agents, know the Trilogy brand inside out. Trilogy offer incentives such as free product and ensure they look after everyone in the loop well enough that everyone involved in the Trilogy brand loves it as much as they do.

Calculate your Pricing Backward

Trilogy initially work out what their customers would be willing to pay, then work backwards through the chain of sales and manufacturing to determine if that works for them. If it doesn’t they rethink what the market is after.

The 5 Minute Rule

Trilogy have had their fair share of muckups including their first Australian sales distributer going bust weeks into their contract. They have come to rely on a very scientific rule. If you don’t get the right vibe in 5 minutes, get out. Whether you’ve traveled half way around the world for the meeting or spent a lot of money on a deal, if you meet the people involved and don’t feel the connection, you probably never will.