Case study

English language consultancy wins business in Turkey

Market visit support from UKTI helps Hampshire based Best Business English start exporting its services in Turkey.

English language consultancy Best Business English has successfully entered the Turkish market after receiving help from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). Best Business English took part in 2 UKTI market visits and used UKTI’s Export Communication Review (ECR) to prepare for market entry.

Nick Keith, Director, Best Business English found the support of UKTI invaluable,

I never dreamed I would be an exporter before I began working with UKTI. The network, services and products have made exporting possible for Best Business English.

They are a vital support service and held in high esteem in other markets, giving my business further accreditation to prospective clients.

The UKTI market visits offer a valuable experience. The events you attend and people you meet, as well as the wider UKTI network available, are inspirational for businesses looking to export.

It has given me the confidence to get out there and export. UKTI is the first stop for any business looking to export.

New business in Turkey

The English language consultancy has won deals with several businesses based in Turkey.

Success includes working with the Turkish branch of Danish maritime safety company, Viking Life-Saving Equipment at its office near Istanbul. Best Business English is working to improve the business English language skills of staff for communications with their parent company and non-Turkish customers.

Preparing to go global

Nick Keith worked with a UKTI International Trade Adviser (ITA) to assess his export strategy and options after he first approached UKTI for help.

He was advised to concentrate on entering one market at a time.

Nick chose to enter the Turkish market due to his fondness of the country and culture, but also because of the potential opportunities in his sector:

Nick Keith said,

I found that many European markets were already saturated with ‘English for business’ consultancies. This competition would make it more challenging for Best Business English to succeed in these markets.

After some initial research, I discovered that I offered a much more niche service in Turkey.

Market visit to research the Turkish market

Nick Keith joined another UKTI market visit to Istanbul in 2014. During this visit he was able to experience the business culture and etiquette first-hand. He was also able to meet with prospective partners and clients.

Nick Keith said,

You learn more about a market the more often you visit it.

During my market visit in 2014, I established important differences between how we do business in Britain, and how business is done in Turkey. For example, telephone communication is often preferred to emails, and building a friendly and trusting relationship is a crucial factor for Turkish businesses.

Developing a communications strategy

After visiting the market he realised the need to develop an international communications strategy.

Nick Keith made use of UKTI’s ECR service to further help prepare for doing business in Turkey.

This recommended refining website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and content, with advice to translate some webpages into Turkish.

Nick Keith said,

The ECR has helped me optimise my website for Turkish consumption.

Having part of the website in Turkish is very important, especially as many of my potential clients do not yet speak English with confidence. As a result, Turkish businesses visiting my website will be more engaged and eager to do business.

Developing contacts

Nick Keith joined a UKTI market visit to Istanbul in February 2015. This time, Nick was able to continue talks with prospects and clients and gain new business in the market.

He was also able to take advantage of a business-to-business (B2B) event organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT). This enabled the market visit delegates to meet with prospective clients.

Nick Keith said,

Overall this year’s market visit has been fantastic. There have been some really interesting networking opportunities and I have managed to create some great contacts.

In particular, I have a further 2 meetings lined up over the next couple weeks with companies I met at the BCCT B2B event.

This has granted me a great entry point with businesses who I am now able to build a relationship with and further assess their requirements for my service.

Future business prospects

Nick is planning stage a seminar at the British Consulate for Turkish companies in October 2015 in conjunction with BCCT. This will be hosted by a panel of English-speaking business experts from different Western countries.

Best Business English are looking forward to another successful year of exporting to Turkey, with plans to expand into other surrounding markets in 2016.

Nick Keith said,

Turkey is the perfect springboard into surrounding markets such as south Caucasus, central Asia and the Middle East.

There is potential for business opportunities outside of Turkey’s borders which I am looking to expand into in the future.

Lev Denker, ITA and Turkey market visit leader, said:

It is great to see Best Business English making inroads into the Turkish market.

Nick researched and understood the market well during his first mission to Turkey and went back with a product that fulfils the requirements of corporate clients in Turkey - a recipe for success.

About Best Business English

Nick Keith established Best Business English as a consultancy to train non-English speaking businesses in English language and Western culture.

It offers specialised and tailored consultancy based on the objectives and industry sector of its clients.

Fast facts

Case study Trade
Company Best Business English
Industry Education and training
Target market Turkey
UKTI services Market Visit; Passport to Export; Export Communication Review