Don’t be scared of exporting, says well-travelled Burland Technology boss

The Queen's Award for Enterprise is presented to Richard Vass of Burland Technology Solutions in Gre

The Queen's Award for Enterprise is presented to Richard Vass of Burland Technology Solutions in Great Blakenham by Clare, Countess of Euston Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

Export, export, export has been a common mantra for the UK business community since last year’s Brexit vote put the country on course to leave the European Union.

Export, export, export has been a common mantra for the UK business community since last year’s Brexit vote put the country on course to leave the European Union.

But doing business abroad can be a daunting prospect for businesses new to selling themselves in foreign markets.

For a bit of inspiration they could do worse than speak to Richard Vass, founder of Future 50 company Burland Technology Solutions, which is based at Great Blakenham near Ipswich but does more than half its business outside of the UK.

The company designs and manufactures power distribution technology for critical facilities, such as data centres, medical equipment and other important machines, that if they should fail or experience a power outage the results would be catastrophic. Burland’s products help ensure that doesn’t happen and allows users to monitor and manage electrical flows to crucial pieces of kit.

Richard has over 20 years experience selling his products abroad both with previous businesses and more recently with Burland, which last year was awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade.

He says there are a number of reasons why he has pursued the export market.

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“Firstly, its exciting and interesting to meet new people and experience new cultures. It also helps you spread your risk - if one market is down, another will be up.”

Key markets for Burland include India, Hong Kong, Singapore and USA, according to Mr Vass, who says to make a success of exporting, businesses have to be willing to get out to foreign countries and network.

He continued: “We don’t just sit in our ivory tower with a new product and wait for the world to come to us. We have the drive and determination to get on a plane and be busy when we arrive in a country.”

A case in point is a recent visit Mr Vass took to Saudi Arabia to attend a SME networking seminar where he met potential investors interested in launching a joint venture initiative in the state.

Mr Vass concluded: “My advice to companies new to exporting is don’t be scared. If you have a good product people will buy it. People do not buy because there is a tariff in place or not, they buy because they need and want a product.”