A specialist lingerie business is celebrating a quarter of a million pound windfall after going international on the internet.
When Royce Lingerie asked Coventry-based IT solutions specialist Computime to construct its new website, managing director Bob Fleming had the growth of his firm's UK market share in mind.
But he soon found that he was picking up lucrative orders from around the world as internet surfers tuned into his site - and now his company supplies lingerie retailers in Australia, the US and Canada, Cyprus, Malta, and South Africa.
Computime, whose web team built the original Royce site - www.royce-lingerie.co.uk - has now been called back to resolve the issue of automating the site to cope with around 300 sales enquiries a day.
Royce Lingerie specialises in wire-free bras designed for pregnant women and nursing mothers who rate comfort as a top priority.
It also offers niche products such as mastectomy bras, and has just launched a range of sports bras which were rigorously tested by a woman jockey.
Mr Fleming said: "The web-site has helped us to pick up business all around the world because we are known for our big sizes.
"Our sports bras go up to a J-cup, where other manufacturers stop at a G.
"We are forecasting around £100,000 of orders from the website in the coming year, taking our total extra business to more than a quarter of a million pounds, and the beauty of it is that these earnings have come from nowhere.
"The extra business has materialised just because we have the right website. We haven't had to spend a penny on conventional marketing."
Royce Lingerie was founded in 1991 by Mr Fleming and his wife Jane.
They have taken Royce from zero to "a multi million pound" turnover. The firm now employs 20 people and describes itself as a niche marketing company covering the full range from 'starter' bras for young girls onwards.
Computime managing director John Dixon said: "Royce Lingerie's success is concrete proof of the maxim that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door. A well-designed site is a powerful tool.
"Analysing Royce's success, for anyone considering doing the same, I would say there are four key elements - having a product that people want, having an easy to navigate web site, having a site that the business can update themselves 24/7, means it is always up to date, plus an expertise in making sure when people type in the search engines, that Royce come in the top ten," he added.