Top tips from Export Ambassador Tony Mauriello

13 February 2014

Export sales director at specialist flooring manufacturer, AIREA PLC, Tony Mauriello, has seen many changes during 25 years in international trade but says the basic requirements for success are the same. 

Now leading a team of 11 export staff at Ossett-based AIREA PLC, Italian-born Tony, 56, who became a ‘We are International’ export ambassador last autumn entered exporting in 1988 for a manufacturer of offset printing machines  used by  newspapers and magazine publishers.

After 13 years at Bonar Floors (UK) as Export General Manager  and four years as vice president for international sales at Mohawk International (USA), one of the world’s biggest flooring companies, he joined AIREA Plc in 2009.

He adds: “15 per cent of our turnover is from exports and we aim to increase this to 30 per cent in three years. We use a combination of distributors and agents and our strategically important markets are Turkey, Poland, The Middle East, and Scandinavia. Most of our export growth will come from these markets, which are experiencing continuous investment in large scale commercial property development and where carpet tiles are preferred.”

Tony, who is available to support new exporters in the flooring or interior design sectors, says his main tips for new exporters are: “Don’t get hung up on language or cultural issues. People overseas want to trade with the UK and expect to do business in English and are prepared to use it verbally and for all documentation and contracts.

“Try to get paid in advance or have credit insurance or a factoring arrangement with a bank. Do not rely on unsafe credit. Some companies fear that exporting is difficult because of the scale of documentation but it is not if you follow the rules and get the right people in place who are experienced in processing an order and shipping it out.

“Finally research your market – the Internet makes this far easier than when I started out - and visit these markets on a trade mission.

We are International is a campaign led by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in partnership with UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, Chamber International and Enterprise Europe Network Yorkshire. It aims to add £1.6bn to the Leeds City Region economy by encouraging more companies to realise the significant business opportunities of international trade

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Chamber International - Export Ambassador Tony Mauriello