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Exporting Case Study: Think Beyond


Europe is the firm's biggest market

Award-winning, Knutsford-based management consultancy, Think Beyond, was established in 2018 by a husband-and-wife team, Steven­­­­ and Mercè - former directors in finance and marketing. Think Beyond offer a personalised and agile service to businesses that need support, with clients ranging from larger SMEs through to corporates. The services offered help these business clients to: find answers via professional, industry and customer research; get support via consulting services for planning, assurance and change.

Think Beyond work with industries from manufacturing and engineering to consumer goods and technology and in 2020 began exporting their support services to international businesses, with exporting now accounting for 30% of their sales. Europe is their biggest market, with Spain in particular being a key international market, but the firm has also worked with US-based, LatAm and other EMEA organisations.

Mercè and Steven have found that the most effective ways to enter new markets is through utilising their existing networks, customers and suppliers as a good start, alongside attending international conferences. Think Beyond have worked for international businesses in the past that have managed teams outside of the UK who have generated some referrals to their international partners.

Mercè explains that “Export is a pleasure for us and we adapt our approach per culture, industry and persona. Most of our European neighbours are more open-minded versus similar UK organisations. Export is our favourite part of the business. The challenges, learning and fun factor are all greater when interacting with other cultures, though we are very fortunate that the language of business is often English.”

Think Beyond understand that there can sometimes be barriers to exporting, like different sales taxes and controls in each market, as well as increased competition with local companies in these markets. The team know that sales cycles are also longer when exporting and so trust is a key factor when exporting on both sides. Since the pandemic, Think Beyond have also benefitted from the majority of work being able to be completed virtually, with fewer businesses willing to commit to travel.

Steven says “To us, export is much more than getting products to a different destination and complying with customs procedures and shipping documentation. The nuances within overseas markets, the unknown competitive landscape and the intricate nature of working with other cultures needs careful research and planning.”

Think Beyond continue to expand their global footprint, delivering personalised and adaptable solutions while staying true to their core values of agility, innovation and client-centricity. With their keen eye on emerging markets and a commitment to excellence, the business is poised for sustained success on the international stage.

Find out more about Think Beyond

Find out more about exporting support