29 June 2007

A CHESHIRE-BASED innovation consultancy has increased its geographical base by more than 300 per cent – with help from UK Trade & Investment.

Coaching Ideas near Frodsham has increased turnover by more than 530 per cent and has significantly broadened its customer base after signing up for Passport to Export – UKTI’s flagship programme for new and inexperienced exporters.

Ian Walton, Coaching Ideas managing director had already realised that exporting would be the secret of success for his consultancy and that steered him toward Passport to Export and an introduction to one of UKTI’s International Trade Advisors. In the past two years he has widened his client base from three overseas markets to 20 separate projects in 10 foreign markets across Europe and Asia. Exports now account for almost 70per cent of his annual turnover.

Coaching Ideas provides companies with creativity techniques to generate and develop new ideas and bring them to the market. Its current client base is medium to large global consumer goods companies operating in the home, personal care and food sectors. Its innovative consultancy includes initial idea generation for new
products and services, developing new consumer insights, project planning innovation management, creative team working and coaching.

Dr Walton said: “I now work with some very large companies including Pepsi International, Tesco in Thailand and Unilever. I had a three-year plan and I have reached the third-year target already – in my second year of business – and now have two associates to help on larger international projects.

“Passport to Export helped on a number of levels. My International Trade Advisor Judith Kyle was very supportive and very pragmatic and she always had the best interest of my business at heart.