Going East to export Best Business English

have just taken my first steps on the road to making Best Business English an international brand


Export seems a very long word for small businesses but I have just taken my first steps on the road to making Best Business English an international brand. You see, I want to train and teach business English abroad as well as teaching adults in the UK.

The first foreign fields in my mind’s eye were in faraway places such as South America, Japan and China. However, well-reasoned opinions from friends and colleagues warned that South America really is far away; and that Japan and China have the added disadvantages of totally different cultures from what I’m used.

 As a result, I’ve settled on Europe, and specifically Turkey. To start my export drive I’ve contacted UKTI (UK Trade & Investment), who have become my new best friends. I have known about UKTI since my business partner Gareth Gammon went on a trade mission to China with Lord Green a couple of years ago. He was impressed by their service and by their network of contacts.

 Then I emailed UKTI South-East, and Graham Snape, my adviser, agreed to meet me in a local coffee shop. We discussed my background, my ambitions and my target market, and he told me there was a trade mission to Turkey on the horizon. I quickly registered my name for that and also joined the UKTI’s passport to export scheme.

 Passport to Export helps companies to:


1      Get started in international trade

2      Assess and develop their capability to export

3      Save time and money in achieving international trade

4      Get help and support in selecting and visiting a market


So far so good for the purposes of advancing best business English abroad. Three out of four have been realized. The one remaining benefit item is “achieving international trade”.

 If you want to know more about my progress, follow this blog. If you can’t wait to find out,  contact me at nick@bestbusinessenglish.co.uk

Plan and prepare to write

Business writing, like any activity, needs a strategic approach and a time for planning and preparation. Here are 10 tips to get you started in writing your best business English.

1. Focus on your objective for writing, your target audience - who's going to read it?

2. Define precisely what you want to achieve. This will help you think and write more clearly.

3. Create a plan of the points you wish to make.

4. Sometimes you will find it easier to start in the middle and create the beginning and the end later.

5. Prepare yourself by getting in the write mental condition and physical position, with a clear mind and good sitting position.

6. Make yourself comfortable, using a chair which supports your back properly (invest in a comfortable chair or a special back chair).

7. Set up the laptop, computer or tablet so that the screen is not too high or too low, with good lighting.

8. Write at a time of day when you will not be disturbed, and turn your mobile off.

9. Imagine who your target audience are and where they might be reading what you have written - in an email, on a laptop, on a tablet, on a smart phone, in a letter,

10. Use the right style and tone of language to match your target audience.

Now you can begin.

Welcome to my world

That old Jim Reeves' song is ringing in my ears. So, as Big Jim sang, "Why don't you come on in…?"

At the same time, my heart is filled with love for the English language. But, now that I have become a teacher of English, I have truly learnt just how complicated, contradictory and counter-intuitive the language is.

From a traditional background, studying at Oxford University and working at The Times (London), I set out on a working life in the media and in marketing. Now I am ready, willing and able  to teach English to Students of Other Languages – TESOL or TEFL as it is often known.

My aim is to combine my established skills in speaking and writing English with a new skill as a qualified teacher with a certificate from Trinity College, London.

My ambition is to celebrate simplicity in speaking and writing the English language,

My strong conviction is simply that English needs to be simple. This is because it has become the international language of business, and we owe it to people learning and speaking our language to make it easier to speak and understand.

It is also because we native English speakers tend to create misunderstandings with each other by obfuscations (using long words which are harder to understand) and jargon.

Having always loved the English language, I have read and written it from a young age. I developed a florid writing style first at school and then at Oxford University, where I read modern history. Then I "put away childish things".

I have deconstructed my English in order to make it easier to understand. After university, I trained as a journalist, where the rule was to make copy understandable to people aged 12. Then I worked at The Times for 10 years, where the target readership was only older by a year or two.

At The Times we looked enviously at the sharp headlines and smart copy from The Sun, our sister paper in the Murdoch empire.

This  belief in simplicity has been confirmed by my subsequent career:

publishing books under contract to publishers;
producing B2B magazines for companies to give to their customers or their staff;
publishing community magazines;
producing copy and content for clients of a marketing agency where I was a director.

All this has provided me with a treasure chest of materials to share with English speakers all around the world. And that is why English is such a great language – because it is flexible and adaptable and takes inspiration from many other languages and native English speakers.

So, a big welcome to my world of English.