Meet our export ambassador, Victoria Boldison

“Match short-term gains against long-term aims to build export success”

Grass roots experiences in a range of exporting roles, from international logistics of hazardous goods to overseas marketing for an engineering business, gave multi-lingual Victoria Boldison the practical grounding for becoming a We Are International export ambassador.

Before her current role as export sales manager at Optimum Medical Solutions, Leeds, Victoria also worked in a business advisory role helping Yorkshire SMEs find overseas markets, enabling her to match practical experience with the needs of novice exporters.

Now Victoria, an Oxford University modern languages graduate, leads a seven strong team supporting the company’s exports to 50 territories through agents and distributors. The business has also set up a sales office in China to manage and support distributors there. 

Victoria says: “Our exports have grown rapidly and our target this financial year is to achieve 50 per cent export turnover which is ambitious but achievable. OptiLube sterile lubricating jelly is our longest-established and most successful overseas product.” 

Optimum Medical Solutions’ key export markets are Ireland, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and China. “However`” adds Victoria “We’re placing strategic focus on developing Germany and France, African territories and SE Asia where there is a lot of interest in our products.”

A common business misconception, she says, is that exporting is “too difficult, too time consuming and too much hassle.  You need patience as cash flow may suffer in the short term as it takes time to build international trade but businesses can ultimately reap long-term rewards by selling outside the UK.” 

It is crucial to visit target markets. “Get out there and speak to end users of your product or service, understand their differing requirements so you can develop a proposition which offers value and is tailored to their needs and your commercial objectives. 

“Ultimately to be a successful exporter you must use short-term wins to support longer-term targets where more financial and time investment is required but where  greater opportunities and a bigger overall return on investment may lie.”

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