Cornish sailing company navigates
A small Falmouth sailing business is set fair to more than
double both its turnover and export revenues from leisure
and tourism this year, with help from UK Trade and Investment
and Business Link Devon and Cornwall.
Reporting a 120 per cent increase in bookings compared with
the same date last season, Golden Black Sailing, based at
Port Pendennis, is a yacht charter company that hires yachts
to experienced sailors and holidaymakers alike. The firm currently
manages seven yachts, all between 38 and 52 feet in length
and maintained in superb condition. They sail the waters of
the English Channel off Devon, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly
and the French coast.
Managing director David Triggs started the business with
his wife Nicky in 2001 and initially targeted the UK market,
but it quickly became apparent that overseas clients were
showing interest. As a first step, Golden Black wanted to
attract custom from Germany, as many German tourists visit
Cornwall each year, so in 2002 he enlisted the help of Steve
Southcott, UK Trade & Investment's international trade
adviser based at Business Link Devon and Cornwall.
Under the Passport programme that helps companies to export,
Steve helped David with developing a strategy, including translating
his website via the Regional Language Network at Exeter University
(www.rln-southwest.com) and supporting market exploration
visits to Germany.
Business Link also provided training in managing overseas
agents and distributors, facilitated the establishment of
a multi-lingual email enquiry reply service and supported
the company's attendance at London International Boat Shows.
Thirty five per cent of visitors to the shows are international
customers and David made many more new contacts due to his
As a result of the passport scheme, Golden Black's trade
with Germany rose by fifty per cent in its second year of
trading and by more than one hundred per cent in its third
year. David said that although this only amounts to a few
extra customers per year, for a small company like his, it
means a recognisable increase in turnover. "The translation
work really helped to boost the business. We are now getting
many more bookings from Germany and we have had enquiries
from Holland, Sweden, Spain and other foreign parts,” he added. "After we appointed an agent in Dusseldorf
we received tips and training on how to manage the agent effectively.
It was also invaluable for us to learn about sailing legislation
in different countries, as they all differ from each other.
Steve was even able to advise us on planning for exchange
rates and pricing so that we could choose the best currency
to advertise our rates.
"Quite apart from the financial assistance, Steve
is so useful to us that we consider him part of our business
management team. He encourages me to take a step back and
look at the company objectively, so that I can see the best
way to develop it. To that end and as a result of our redesigned
website, we are now setting our sights on clients from further
afield, for instance Dubai, Australia and India.”
Steve Southcott said: "It is a pleasure to work with
a company with such drive and enthusiasm. David is increasingly
confident in his ability to secure new overseas business and
I look forward to seeing the company grow over the coming
years. This is an excellent example of how a small company
can really unfurl its sails!”
Looking to the future, Golden Black, which is a member of
South West Tourism and was a finalist in the RLN-SW regional
Business Language Champions competition 2004, plans to expand
its client list from the current Germany, Spain and the USA.
It has received serious new business enquiries from Australia
and is also investigating arrangements with similar companies
abroad so that they can market Golden Black's products and
in return, the Cornish firm will market theirs. For example,
the company has just set up an exciting new reciprocal deal
with a yacht charter business in Norway.
Golden Black Ltd provides four main products: a Bareboat
Charter to hire out yachts to competent sailors; a Skipper
Charter, for which the company provides a friendly and experienced
skipper; a Share-a-Yacht hire, which allows singles or couples
to rent a cabin while a professional skipper manages the sailing;
and this year, it became a Royal Yachting Association approved
To accommodate the growing demand for Golden Black's products,
the company has now taken on its first employee and has sights
firmly set on even further growth in the future. More information
about the company can be found at www.goldenblack.co.uk,
or by calling David Triggs on 01326 319319.
For further information please contact Lisa McGowan of The
Marketing-PR Company on 01566 771860 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall
and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Business Link Devon
and Cornwall through the Developing Business Support Network
project with the European Regional Development Fund.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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