Transatlantic coaching: Norfolk coaching provider wins first contract in New York City

Executive coaching provider Blend Associates from Norfolk wins its first overseas contract in the United States of America, with support from the Department for International Trade.

Based in Norfolk, Blend Associates provides executive coaching, strategy and leadership support. Founder and coaching practitioner Amanda Reynolds has worked with clients including schools, councils, national government agencies and health organisations across the UK, before setting her sights across the Atlantic.

With the support of the Department for International Trade (DIT), Amanda accessed the competitive North American market for coaching services, winning her first trans-Atlantic contract with a New York City school against local competition.

“Entering the market for North American schools could have been prohibitively expensive for us”, explains Amanda. “DIT signposted me to sources of funding available to businesses like mine that are new to exporting. This was match funding for half the travel and accommodation costs for New York City, allowing me to conduct market research, set up meetings with new contacts and ultimately pitch my services to the client we’re now working with.”


“The support we received gave us a competitive edge against our local competitors. Our Norfolk-based company became a more viable option to our client than local companies operating in the same city as them.”


Blend Associates was supported in its exporting efforts by the Get Exporting 2 programme, a tailored programme of advice and assistance available to SMEs based in the UK and backed by the European Regional Development Fund.

“The support we received gave us a competitive edge against our local competitors. Our Norfolk-based company became a more viable option to our client than local companies operating in the same city as them. The model of coaching that we provide in the UK features both on-site and video conferencing support. Extending this dual approach to New York City seemed a natural next step.”


“This experience has taught me a lot about the value of contacts when trying to develop a business overseas.”


Leszek Wysocki – an International Trade Adviser – worked with Amanda and advised on a range of topics to help her develop an export strategy. Leszek facilitated introductions to contacts at British embassies, guidance on market entry costs, briefings on which sectors to target and provided feedback on website design and digital marketing.

“This experience has taught me a lot about the value of contacts when trying to develop a business overseas,” says Amanda. “I had to first understand how our services could be delivered abroad, and then use my new contacts as a springboard to establish a presence in the marketplace. I believe that making the right connections, having a competitive pricing strategy and a strong digital presence will stand us in good stead for future overseas contracts.”

Exemplas Trade Services Ltd (ETSL) has delivered the contract for the Department for International Trade (formerly UK Trade and Investment) in the East of England for almost a decade.

For more information on how we can support your business in exporting overseas, get in touch.