“When I set up Eyeful Presentations in 1994 it was a British company by default. We registered in the UK for the simple reason that the UK was the location of my spare room where I started the business. I decided that our first website would have a .co.uk domain, rather than the ‘I’m going to take over the world’ .com, because at that point, I didn’t plan on doing so.
I soon found out this decision was to help the business grow to where it is today. It quickly became apparent that being a British business is still respected internationally. Having a .co.uk suffix tells British businesses that you’re accessible and the rest of the world that you’re serious about what you’re doing.
As the company began to grow it became obvious that I was in exactly the right place to build a company that was fit to take on the world. Not only is the UK home to some of the best creative minds in the world, we also have a great culture when it comes to innovation, customer service and most importantly enjoying what we do.
Eyeful Presentations grew (and still grows) because we have happy customers and while the first of these were indeed UK based, it didn’t take too long for the overseas customers to find us. International commerce is now easier than ever, but having a real presence in other countries still poses challenges.
Our UK team grew to become a group of people that I’m really proud to work with. They’ve come from really diverse backgrounds and gelled together to become the force that has spread the good news about what we do around the world, in ways that I could never have dreamed of. I had no doubt that we needed to ensure that we created the same ‘magic mix’ overseas if we were going to make a success of growing the business internationally.
Succeeding stateside was, for us at least, about holding onto our core values, using the great team we already had in the UK coupled with our new friends in the U.S. And of course inserting z’s into words we thought we knew how to spell!
Just as the U.S. appreciated a small UK company that were doing things a little differently, Europe also came knocking on the door and our second international base was born in The Netherlands. Same great creative team, paired with a Dutch team who understood that Eyeful were offering something that was valuable to European business – British ingenuity.
Eyeful was taking chunks of familiar market places and our translation skills weren’t over stretched….then came Russia. A Russian customer was so impressed with a presentation we produced for them they asked if we were looking for a representative in Russia and if so, would we be happy to consider them for the position.
Our expansion into Russia has resulted in a little presentation company from the UK being instrumental in the inclusion of business presentations in the current MBA syllabus at Kaliningrad Business School. From starting in a back bedroom in Oxford to contributing to a top Russian University syllabus is the sort of pioneering journey that the rest of the world expects to start in Britain, yet we still find quite surprising.
British ingenuity and quality is something that the world values, there is still a certain caché attached to being a British business - and the fact that we’re often so reticent to acknowledge that, is a wasted opportunity.
By 2012 Eyeful was a little business punching above its weight. We know that the presentations we produce are fantastic and that we’ve turned heads around the world; life’s pretty good and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved in a very British ‘not bad at all’ sort of a way.
Then just when I was starting to think that the amazing journey had reached a pleasing plateau, the phone rings and I’m being asked to write a book about what we do.”
The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula Behind Powerful Presentations is hitting the shelves early this year and has already been translated into Spanish for the overseas market. If that isn’t proof that a UK business can make a global impact using home grown talent, then I’m not entirely sure what is.
To put your questions to Simon Morton, founder of Eyeful Presentations, join our webchat at 12:30 on Wednesday 29 January.
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