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What you can learn from The Fixer: Week one

The Fixer, Alex Polizzi is back on our screens for a third series, every Monday night for the next six weeks (BBC2, 9pm). We’re big fans and recognize many of the problems facing those businesses as they’re similar to the issues we speak to businesses about every day. Every week, we’ll round up the top advice businesses can take away from the show.

In the first episode, Alex visited Paul Walker, owner of Hunters Brewery in Devon, who had asked her to get involved in helping them to export. But it turned out they needed more help getting the basics right first.

Here are the top tips we gathered from the show: 

1.    Exporting can be a good idea…

But make sure you’ve maximized the opportunities on your own doorstep first. There may be plenty of untapped markets just waiting to be discovered.

2.    Don’t produce too many product lines

Concentrate on one or two core products at the start and perfect them before diversifying. 

3.    Quality is key

Good quality British products sell, so emphasise quality in your product and your branding.

4.    Use research and feedback

Ask customers (and potential customers) what they think – you may be surprised. And don’t ignore advice from those in the know!

5.    When you are making a big capital expenditure, do your homework

Paul lost £40k buying a machine that didn’t work. Always get testimonials from other satisfied customers of your supplier, don’t pay the full amount up front and consider leasing as an alternative. 

Find out more about The Fixer and see past episodes on the BBC website.

For advice on any of the issues above, Forum members can call us on 0845 130 1722.

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