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Direct Hoses gets a direct line to international business growth

Direct Hoses Ltd, a company that sells spare parts to the power washing industry, based at Century Business Centre, Manvers near Rotherham, is going digital in its quest to develop and maintain international relationships thanks to the support of RiDO's ERDF-funded Soft Landing Zone.

The company worked closely with RiDO's Business Development Co-ordinator Julia Millea who spotted that although Direct Hoses had a website and good working relations with a number of overseas companies, they weren't fully geared up for international growth.

RiDO was able to offer the company an Export Communication Review of Direct Hoses' communications with export markets. This included a review of the company's website and literature to ensure that it was relevant to their target international market.

RiDO also signposted Direct Hoses' directors, Bill Shepherd and Marcus Nicholls to the UKTI, where they are being supported by a language specialist who will help them internationalise their website and make it accessible for other markets. RiDO also advised the directors to attend a workshop about SEO to enable them to further target the overseas markets.

"It's been great to have so much support from RiDO," said Marcus Nicholls, director of Direct Hoses. "We've learnt so much and we've got lots of ideas for the website now. We're keen to work with distributors overseas and, thanks to RiDO and the UKTI, we now know that having a presence on the internet is about more than just having a website – that website has to work for the international market and there's SEO and social media to consider too," he continued.

"They've also helped us focus our efforts and we're currently targeting Germany and Finland," said Bill. "We're looking into having the website translated to give us the best chance of finding businesses to work with. With that and plans for a specialist to look at the Direct Hose branding, we're really excited about what we can achieve.

"I can't recommend RiDO enough. They've helped us so much in over the last six months and I know that the things we're putting into place now will make a huge difference to our business and our international growth within the next twelve months," continued Bill Shepherd.

Nathan Woodcock, business development co-ordinator for RiDO, said: "We're pleased to see that Direct Hoses have embraced the concept of digital marketing and we look forward to working with them as they develop their online presence. It plays such an important part in any efforts to develop business overseas."

Direct Hoses was one of many Rotherham businesses which has benefited from RiDO's free

European Communication Review. This is designed to help local businesses to develop trading relations with both English and non-English speaking export markets by reviewing a company's literature, branding and website. Experienced consultants give practical advice on the layout, design and any translation required to ensure the business is communicating effectively with potential overseas customers. A full review of sales, invoicing and telephone systems is also available. The ECR can review the effectiveness of your website to communicate with potential overseas customers and to generate export business and enquiries. Any Rotherham business wishing to take advantage of a European Communication Review should contact RiDO as soon as possible.

As a Rotherham business, Direct Hoses Ltd was able to secure support through RiDO's Growth and Prosperity in Rotherham (Soft Landing Zone) project, which aims to assist Rotherham companies in accessing international markets and also helps foreign inward investors who choose to locate to RiDO's business centres. The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £842k investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe's support for the region's economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-14.

Direct Hoses sells spare parts for all the major branded power washers. Selling to both the domestic and semi-professional market, the company specialises in custom made accessories for use in industrial cleaning, building maintenance and the motor industry.

For more details about the Soft Landing Zone project, which is run by RiDO, click here. For more details about Direct Hoses, visit the website http://www.directhoses.net.

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