"Don’t ignore overseas potential for your business", says Lime Tree Europe Ltd managing director, Paul Walters

26 November 2014

"If a business is limiting itself to the UK market with a successful product, it is ignoring a huge potential for profit" says newly-appointed We are International export ambassador, Paul Walters.

Starting out as a junior clerk with a freight forwarding company in Manchester when he was only 16, Paul Walters, who launched his own exporting company, Lime Tree Europe Ltd, Halifax, now has 41 years practical exporting experience with which to guide novice exporters at virtually every stage of selling overseas.

He says: "I started at the very bottom, dealing with customs entries before moving up to export documentation such as airway bills, community transit documents and so on."

He then worked for a North West lighting equipment company in a full-time export shipping role, receiving orders from throughout the world and ensuring that products were made, packed and delivered on time with all the necessary documentation for a smooth transaction.

After following this with a spell back at Manchester Airport focusing on the USA, he joined DFDS/Scandinavian Seaways in Bradford, where he was business development manager. From there, he moved to a Yorkshire-based logistics company which later bought out one of its customers which supplied the retail market, and appointed Paul Walters general manager.

Over nine years of travelling the world, he helped build a range of products up to 150 from a standing start, and also help the company develop into 12 new regular export markets.

After this, he returned to the logistics sector as group courier manager, but then started Lime Tree Europe Ltd in spring 2014.

He says: "Having spent all my working life on pretty well every aspect of exporting, from basic documentation and logistics to travelling the world finding customers and opening new markets, I started Lime Tree Europe to help novice exporters. I’m working with several companies in Yorkshire and one in London, several of whom are in the process of clinching their first overseas deals."

What are his top tips for novice exporters? "The first is that they should not be afraid to start exporting as there has never been more help available than now to guide them at every step of the way."

I think that they need to recognise that it will require a financial investment when they start out but they will recoup this many times over when they are up and running."

"I’m delighted to become a We are International export ambassador, not just for the excitement of helping companies reap the rewards but because the region needs to help the government achieve its economic target. We cannot do this just by enabling existing exporters to increase their volumes. We need many new exporters and I’m convinced that they are out there."

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