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Should I export?

Saturday, 28 August 2010 | By James Thomson

Exporting your goods or services to the world is a great ambition, but it can be tough. Exporting takes careful research and planning, large amounts of capital and resources, and a strong focus.

 

Some important factors to consider include:

 

  • Is my business ready? It is generally accepted that a business needs to have a strong domestic platform before heading overseas – exporting requires a lot of focus and having a stable business at home is important.
  • Can you test the water? Initial ways to test whether you are ready to push ahead with a full-blown exporting strategy might include selling to overseas customers via your website, or attending an overseas trade sale to gauge interest.
  • Have you selected the right a market? Picking the right export market will depend a lot on the product or service you are selling. There are a lot of things to consider. Do you concentrate on the size of the market and target countries such as China or India? Or do you stick to English-speaking markets?
  • Have you done your research? Once you’ve picked a market, start researching and planning. You need to examine the size of the market, the characteristics of your likely customers, regulatory issues and laws you’ll need to understand and local customs and business etiquette.
  • Have you got local knowledge? You can’t hope to push into an export market on your own. Local knowledge, in the form of local advisors or joint venture partners, can help smooth your path greatly.