The Little Milk Company is a business in growth. Here, Conor Mulhall talks about how he finds new export markets using a service called WebPort Global.
As Britain exits the EU, Irish food producers are nervous. The UK is Ireland’s largest food export market. How will small, Irish producers afford to find new markets? The typical costs of travel, trade shows, research, arranging meetings and planning sales pitches can put many SMEs off the idea of exporting into more than one large market.
However, as with most business hurdles, there is a solution, and the Irish firms using this solution are seeing results. Real results.
WebPort Global is a platform that helps small businesses find new customers abroad. It’s also easy to use.
Conor Mulhall, who is known as ‘The Big Cheese’ at the Little Milk Company, says his business is using WebPort Global to expand into the lucrative German market. Here he talks about big markets, growing a business and the global appetite for organic foods.
“Looking five years down the road, we’d like the business to be four times the size it is today.”
Fish where the fish are
Our business is an organic cheese business. The organic sector in Ireland is worth about €140 million while the organic market in Germany is worth €10 billion. So you’ve got to fish where the fish are.
There’s massive demand we just have to find it
From start to now, we’ve probably grown tenfold. Looking five years down the road, we’d like the business to be four times the size it is today. Most of our growth will come from exports because the markets for organic products abroad are ‘ginormous’.
In the early days
Our early experience was going to trade shows, meeting people from other countries, presenting our products to them and hoping they liked them. It went pretty well. We soon discovered that Ireland is a great place to sell food from because people don’t see Ireland as commercial and corporate. They have an image of a green, rural, and outdoorsy location.
“You can connect with international partners, gain insights on foreign trade, and gather new customers in different countries.”
No more donkey work
When I started using WebPort Global, I gave them some target markets, and they were able to provide me with lists of distributors and potential customers in that market with their contact details. It got rid of a lot of the donkey work and allowed us to focus on the sales. It helped me find the key players in the market.
You must be clear
You have to be committed to it. You have to know what it is you’re looking for so that the guys in WebPort Global can go and get it for you. If you’re not crystal clear about what information you want, then it’s hard to get.
Did you know?
If you are a Bank of Ireland customer, you can get free access to WebPort Global’s worldwide networks. This means you can connect with international partners, gain insights on foreign trade, and gather new customers in different countries.
Become a business customer, simply apply online.