Look overseas to boost growth

Reporter: Martyn Torr
Date published: 27 January 2010

Businesses in and around Oldham should be looking at international market opportunities as a route to business growth as we emerge from recession.

The newly-formed Oldham Business Leadership Group (OBLG), comprising a number of Oldham’s business leaders, is teaming up with internet giant Google to host its inaugural event on exporting on March 1.

The aim is to encourage companies to sell their products and services internationally and dispel some of the myths around barriers to entry.

Gavin Wheeldon, chief executive of Delph-based Applied Language Solutions and a member of OBLG, said: “There is a perception that exporting only applies to manufacturers, but this simply isn’t the case.

“Any company providing a product or a service domestically should be seriously considering how they can sell into other markets.

“I set up my business in 2003 and international sales now account for 70 per cent of annual revenues.

“I believe passionately that UK businesses are missing a trick in not exploring opportunities in other countries.”

Applied Language Solutions formed a partnership with Google in 2009 called Export Box to provide a one-stop-shop support service for first-time exporters.

It has since attracted additional partners such as Royal Mail, Grant Thornton, HSBC and the Institute of Export and provides help that includes website translation, Google advertising campaigns, shipping, financial and trading advice.

Many of the partners will be at the event to answer questions along with international trade advisers from UKTI and other business support organisations.

The free New Routes to Business event, which takes place at Oldham’s Queen Elizabeth Hall from 8.45am to 12.30pm, will include presentations from Google, business and financial advisers Grant Thornton and a panel discussion featuring companies with a successful record in exporting their business services and products.

Mr Wheeldon added: “We have designed an event that will be informative and interesting for any business even if they aren’t sure if they’re ready to take the big step into exporting. We are thrilled to have Google on board.

“There is so much support out there for businesses looking to grow, particularly using an online presence, and things like language and cultural differences and confusion around technology shouldn’t be viewed as barriers to growth.”

E-mail or register online at to book a place at this event.