11 tips for exporting success
Below are our 11 tips for exporting success:
Getting ready for exporting
Before you think about exporting it's wise to conquer your domestic market. The most successful exporters are well established and have a strong customer base at home.
Once you've established a strong domestic presence it's time to learn the basics of exporting. There are many new terms and concepts you'll need to understand, but there are plenty of people who can help you on the way.
- Before you think about exporting it's wise to conquer your domestic market. The most successful exporters are well established and have a strong customer base at home.
- It is essential to develop an export strategy before launching into an overseas market. Your strategy should identify your export aims and the resources you need to achieve them. You'll need to analyse your business, the export environment, your product and service offerings and potential markets. You should also develop plans to implement your strategies and ways to evaluate their success.
- Your business contacts can make or break your exporting endeavours. By making the right contacts you can learn more about your industry and meet potential customers.
- Market research is about finding out what drives a market and how to access it. In researching your export markets you'll need to find out about import duties, distribution channels, regulations, market size and growth. You also need to develop a “feel” for the market which includes knowledge of how buyers operate, potential barriers to market entry, what your competitors are doing and the dynamics of business meetings.
- Export marketing is about building relationships and making a good impression. Use your networks to make contact with buyers in your export market and ensure your support material provides relevant, accurate and substantial information. This could include letters, brochures, emails, faxes and websites. It's also important to take the time to learn the business etiquette of the culture you are dealing with.
Visiting the market
- Once you've identified your new markets it's time to visit them and start building networks on the ground. Visit your markets before committing to major agreements with prospective agents, distributors, or other business partners. You might also want to consider visiting major trade fairs in the target country.
- Venturing into international markets will expose your business to a new range of risks so it's a good idea to review your risk management strategy. New risks could include foreign exchange exposure, legal issues, political stability, shipping, customs clearance days, quarantine and standards regulations.
Getting financial assistance
- Market development and getting ready to export can take a lot of time and money so you'll need to manage your cash flow carefully
Freight and logistics
- Establishing an efficient and effective freight process is crucial to good exporting. Most exporters use a freight forwarder but you will still need to learn the basics of shipping terms, pricing and documentation.
- Receiving your first genuine enquiry is an exciting moment. Make sure you've developed procedures to handle leads professionally. This could include a commitment to respond within 48 hours and developing an email format to promote your business. You will also need to check their bona fides to ensure they are a genuine client and that the transaction is secure.
- There are plenty of legal issues to consider once you start exploring overseas markets including import and export regulations, patent and other intellectual property registrations, product liability, bilateral sanctions and the differences between legal systems.