Company visit to Boomerang Distribution and discussion on sales - Mar 25, 2014
On Tuesday, March 25th members and friends of the Danish Estonian Chamber of Commerce were invited to the contractual packing and direct mailing company Boomerang Distribution. The company is owned by two Swedish gentlemen Tom Backman and Anders Näslund, who put together their entrepreneurial minds when the decision of joining EU was made in Estonia. Tom and Anders decided that they want to do cross-border business where knowledge of the Estonian language would not be required. They started back in 2003. The company has grown ever since by using their strengths and learning from their own mistakes. The company is expecting 3 mln€ turnover within 2014.
The first sold the „cheap hands“ of local employees. Manual work was cheap and they managed to restart the demand for that service in the market they were familiar with – Sweden. It took time, but they managed since language was not a problem over there.
Since Anders and Tom did not know the sector, then they first had to start off by learning the sector business and peculiarity of it. It turned out that the contractual packing and direct mailing is organized by brokers and agencies in Sweden. Oh, that indeed saved some time! Joining the “right“ organizations and associations, setting meetings with „the right people“, knowing the local small-talk made the business grow in Estonia.
With Sweden at hands, Finland was next target. Let’s copy the same model in Finland, was the first thought. But countries are different and so was the Finnish market a totally different environment compared to Sweden – no brokers, no agencies, just direct paths to each and every customers doorsteps. Moreover, the Fins neglected speaking Swedish. An investment had to be made to hire a person with local knowledge and excellent Finnish skills. Else, it would have been a dead end.
What can be learned from the 11 years’ practice of Boomerang Distribution:
- know the country on the level of being able to have business small-talk on the local level;
- learn the business small-talk;
- it takes time to enter the unknown markets – don’t give up;
- when hiring export sales people then keep in mind that they don’t need to have only language skills, but also sales skills;
- put effort into local networking;
- talk constantly about your wonderful business and it will bring customers;
- take usage of social media i.e LinkedIn;
- choose your customers yourself, don’t let the customers to choose you;
- choose partners that can deliver instead of loosing minor percentage of profit;
- key to success: hard work!
With this knowledge in mind the event was finished by intensive networking. Several new business contacts were created with cooperation in mind.
Feedback from CEO and owner of LuLu OÜ, Kristjan Akkermann:
Thank You, Merli for organizing the trip to Boomerang Distribution. With every such networking event some magic starts to work and You always find one or two connections with people that take your business to next level. Really appriciate the great job You do!
Danish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce thanks Boomerang Distribution – Business Manager Jaana Ziius, CEO Jonas Heinonen and company owner Tom Backman for excellent, Danish-style hosting, sharing the experience and knowledge about their company, and providing us with the fool-proof tools for success. Thank you!
Photos by: Merli Lindberg