What are the three main qualities you look for in any business/individual you visit as part of the BIBAs judging process?
- Strategic thinking, demonstrating flexibility and being open to advice.
- Long-term planning based on research and evidence.
- Commitment to develop and deploy resource, especially staff.
Without naming names, tell us about the one business or individual you were most impressed with during the BIBAs judging process and why?
I was impressed by a company that had been established a long time, with good products and longstanding customers, but had been in slow decline.
They fully reviewed their business to identify new markets to target, and completely overhauled their website and marketing strategy.
The reward has been strong sales growth in UK and overseas.
What would be the one piece of advice you would offer to any BIBAs applicant?
Demonstrate why you took the decisions you did.
Paul Stowers is Deputy Regional Director at UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) North West, which sponsored the Exporter of the Year category at the BIBAs 2014 and is a sponsor of the BIBAs 2015.