The ECI Growth Survey

If you can build a winning business at home, why not repeat the trick abroad?

Simon Duffy says British companies that manage to succeed in Britain’s cutthroat retail industry are particularly well placed to win customers in markets all over the world.

There is a risk of trying to do too much – so we prefer to be ambitious in a small number of areas.

Simon Duffy, Founder

He should know. The 38 year-old is co-founder of Bulldog, a male grooming business founded in 2006 that has grown into the third largest men’s skincare brand in the UK.

That success, based on a combination of no nonsense branding and only using natural ingredients, is expected to deliver sales of £12 million this year.

About a third of that turnover will come from abroad. Seeing Bulldog’s success in retailers like Boots in Britain gives shops and distributors overseas great confidence, he says.

“It is an advanced and sophisticated market. Once you reach a degree of profile in the UK, you will get interest from overseas.”

So much so in fact, that the challenge for Bulldog has become picking which opportunities to pursue. The business operates in 14 markets, but Mr Duffy says he and co-founder Rhodri Ferrier have turned down opportunities to work in far more: focus is crucial when running a fast-growing business, he advises.

“We are competing with giants like Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal, some of the biggest, most influential companies in the world. There is a risk of trying to do too much – so we prefer to be ambitious in a small number of areas.”

£12million

14

2006