Telling the truth about SME life today

The perks of international expansion

Tilley founded his London-based firm in 2000. The firm specialises in financial road shows around the world and its top clients are the world’s leading investment banks.  “We opened offices in three locations: London, New York and Hong Kong,” he says. “This allowed us to offer our clients a global service-level agreement in a relatively small and niche market.”  These global contracts are worth significantly more than local ones. “We signed our first £1.5m global deal last year with hopefully our second pending very soon,” he says. “Strategically, that has been a key differentiator for our business. It also makes it harder for our clients to get rid of us during a request for proposal [when rival companies tender for your contracts].”  “Having an overseas offices also creates the impression of a much bigger company,” he continues.  Driven Worldwide currently operates in 65 countries, turning over £8.5m. “We compete with much larger companies and our internationalism infers consistency and stability,” he says. But don’t try too hard to look like an international leviathan. “We’ve got 400 affiliate suppliers around the world,” Tilley continues. “Some people say they have 400 offices -– that’s just not credible. Stretching the truth can work against you. Plus, people want a personal service, not a sprawling conglomerate.” 

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