BEERS AND A HANDSHAKE
The company began in a living room over a few beers and a handshake. It has since expanded to markets in several countries, including Asia, with products from the world's most innovative manufacturers.
“We started with a single product and no resellers," Horsley-Wyatt says. “We now have over 20 different brands that we distribute, across three channels – professional video, photographic and consumer electronics."
“We were lucky enough to start distributing GoPro (high-definition cameras) when they were a small company, and since then we have always looked for products that we would love to play with ourselves."
Success stories like Blonde Robots' are one way of motivating small businesses to consider the opportunities abroad, according an ANZ's Opportunity Asia survey of over a thousand businesses.
To be launched later in October, the survey found while 83 per cent of small businesses interviewed acknowledged Asian expansion would make sustainable growth more achievable, only 20 per cent were active.
Business accelerator or market familiarisation programs are increasingly popular ways SMEs approach new frontiers and Blonde Robot was one of 10 businesses who participated in ANZ's Business Growth program, focussing on staffing and cultural changes.
“We had a pretty good idea of who we wanted to be," Horsley-Wyatt says. “But we didn't have determined values or a mission statement. So the program helped us to work through that. And as a result we've made staffing changes over the past six months that have really helped the business grow."
Blonde Robot also developed a defined growth strategy and a focus on other opportunities in Asia.
“Since then we've really grown our Hong Kong business and now we are looking at driving 300 per cent growth throughout Asia next financial year"