Grimsby-based Red Herring Games is targeting new markets after opening its first overseas office in Australia.
The murder mystery dining experience business has been working with advisers at the Department for International Trade (DIT) dedicated to businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber to transform into a global exporter.
As a result, overseas sales to markets such as the U.S., Egypt and Ukraine accounted for almost 40% of the business’ annual £185,000 sales total in 2017.
The company moved to new premises in Grimsby in 2013 and has since boosted its two-strong team with three new recruits to meet its export demand.
The support received from its dedicated DIT International Trade Adviser enabled the firm to capitalise on its global appeal. DIT provided advice on the development of a multi-channel website alongside where to export and how to invoice abroad.
The company now has plans to open an office in the United States.
Jo Smedley, managing director of Red Herring Games, said: “Our growth thanks to exporting has been unbelievable.
“A few years ago we were looking at insolvency but now we are finalising plans for our Australian office and implementing a strategy to crack the mystery game market in the Netherlands. It’s just fantastic.
“Before speaking to a DIT adviser, exporting wasn’t really on my radar if I’m honest. I didn’t know where to start but now I have discovered new markets and, more importantly, have the confidence to explore them.
“DIT helped me to overcome a host of barriers. From negotiating with overseas business customers, translating scripts or understanding business landscape of new countries, I’ve had support every step of the way.
“Cultural differences were also a real challenge, even in the US, but my adviser provided invaluable guidance to make the process much easier.
“Our latest challenge is establishing an office in Australia. It’s been a steep learning curve but, again, DIT has been close at hand to support us and provide crucial market insight and knowledge.
“Seeking expert guidance has been the best thing I’ve done for my business. If we can do it then
Mark Robson, regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade, said: “In the 12 months to September 2017, businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber exported £16.4bn worth of goods, making up 5% of the UK total.
“We want to continue this positive trend by helping more businesses explore new markets overseas.
“Red Herring Games is a fantastic example of why exporting can be such a positive step for businesses. Our DIT advisers worked closely with Jo and her team on their exporting journey, which has seen the firm go from strength to strength and boost local employment.
“Exporting to new and diverse markets isn’t without its complexities, but our team of over 20 of dedicated advisers in Yorkshire and the Humber is on hand to help firms navigate these challenges.
“We’re here to help businesses of all sizes, and would encourage any that have been inspired by Jo’s story to get in touch to see how we can help.”