Expanding the delivery of goods to overseas markets can bring with it big rewards, but it takes a lot of time, commitment, money and energy. However exporting also allows businesses to grow and become more profitable and so if you are determined to get into the export business then there are a number of steps you need to keep in mind before beginning this business venture.
In order to locate overseas buyers, it is a good idea to have a contact within the country you intend to export to. Some entrepreneurs create partnerships or joint ventures with overseas companies that are more experienced with selling goods to local buyers, although there is a certain degree of risk in such arrangements so it is important to do comprehensive research on any foreign company before going into business with them.
Make the commitment
New export businesses will inevitably encounter a number of difficulties when they are starting out, such as having to establish a new channel for distribution and redesigning the packaging of their goods. This process will take time, usually between two to three years, and mistakes will be made in the beginning no matter how much preparation a business engages in. Management need to be cognizant of this fact in order to avoid minor setbacks causing a crisis of confidence.
Explore your new market
It is vital to understand the new market your company is attempting to break into in ways other than statistics and figures. Understanding the business culture of the country you want to begin exporting goods to will be a matter of particular importance; what are their business cards like? Do they always wear suits? How will you need to adapt or change your business model in order to be able to do business with them?
Get out there
Travel may be required in order to gain the contacts you need in an overseas market. Trade shows that are attended by foreign distributors and buyers are well worth looking into, and you may also wish to consider advertising either online or in international trade magazines so that you are able to make your firm’s presence felt.
It is best to focus on one single area when commencing a new process. Many of the most successful export companies began with just one foreign market, and were then able to apply that experience to ensure success in other overseas countries. Many new exporting companies choose the nearest country to their own as their first international market, as they generally tend to be easier to learn about and travel to.
Look at all the factors
Research all of the different factors that could have an impact on the price of your goods in your new overseas market. These factors include the likes of the duties imposed by the market, how long before payment is generally made, the nature of any local taxes, the payment method used and its inherent costs as well as the local currency – such as the UK pound to AUD, and what the exchange rate is like between currencies such as GBP to AUD, and any risks that may come with it.
Increase your knowledge
Watch out for any opportunities there may be for developing and expanding your staff’s knowledge of the export business. Ensure that there exists a baseline of skills in your firm by working towards certain credentials such as the Certified Global Business Professional credential.
You may not be able to use the current version of your trading name in a foreign market, and it is important to see if the name is already being used by a different company there or if it may have an unfortunate connotation within the vernacular of that market. Check out the copyright, trademarks and design rights within the market.