It's Time to go global

          Have you ever thought about doing in overseas markets? If not, or you thought it 
          too difficult,          then you might want to think again.  

 If you are serious about trading internationally, you will want to think about how to research, target and grow a presence in overseas markets. But how should you begin?How do
you even know whether exporting is   right for you?  Before you commit to exporting you need to honestly assess your export potential – both in terms of  the readiness of your business and of  your product or service.
    It is essential to carry out detailed  market research to identify and evaluate the target market. Areas to examine include: the industry structure; the predicted demand for your product or service;
the competition and how you plan to fit into that marketplace; and any modifications required to make your product or service saleable.
   After completing your market research, you can draw up an export plan defining how you will enter the new market. That should include: a marketing strategy which incorporates international trade
development; an understanding of the route to market, e.g. the preferred distribution channel for your
products or services; the chosen business model e.g. agent, distributor, B2B, sales office, join venture or subsidiary company; the necessary financial resources; the right people to develop the new export markets; adequate knowledge of the requirements of your chosen market e.g. modifying packaging to meet local regulations and standards; and an understanding of export payment mechanisms and export finance.
  To assess whether your product/ service is suitable for export to your target market, consider: consumer preferences, competitive offers (local production and imported) and their market share; product standards and regulations in the overseas market – the British Standards Institution offers help for exporters; and the costs of adapting your product or service.
                                                Key questions to ask before you export
1. Key questions to ask before you export points to your business proposition? Will there be a market for your products and services?
2.  Are there any legal barriers to your business model?
3.  Where in the market would you start?
4.  Do you have sufficient resources (management time, project finance and expenses) to fund your overseas projects?
5.  Who will be leading the project within your company?
6.  Do you need to work with an overseas partner to succeed? Can you communicate with them effectively?
7.  Have you evaluated business risks (such as protecting your intellectual property) and conducted research and due diligence?
8.  Do you know how to secure payment and get the right quality products?
   Every market is different, and  companies need to be sensitive to local ways of doing business, even in different regions of the same country. Lack of awareness and knowledge of local cultural norms can impede the development of a business relationship.
                                                 Ten key steps to successful exporting
Research your market                                        Implement an export

Does your prospective foreign                           strategy and review your
customer need what you are                              capabilities
selling at the price that will yield                       Ask yourself: what would my
you a profit? What is the                                    business gain from exporting? 
competition and how will

they react?

Construct an export plan                                    Get the Customs side
                                                                               right
Define how you will enter the                             Contact HM Revenue & Customs
foreign market. Finalise human                         and the UK embassy of your
resources and marketing                                     destination country to clarify 
strategy and allocate an                                       requirements. Make sure
adequate budget to cover                                     your reporting practices

export start-up costs.                                            are watertight.   

Get paid on time                                                   Choose your distribution
                                                                                 methods
Ensure your cashflow will                                    Consider the implications of
remain at a safe level. Guarantee                        selling over long distances and
sufficient credit for your future                          across national frontiers.
sales. Take out insurance cover

if necessary.
                                           
Choose your sales                                                   Promote your product
presence                                                                   How are you going to market and
                                                                                sell your product? Customise
Establish whether you need a                                 marketing to the target country.
direct sales operation. Or is an
agent or distributor more
effective? How will you manage
your overseas sales presence?

After-sales policy                                                       Transport goods   
                                                                                      effectively
Regularly liaise with customers,                               Assess and choose the most
export agents and banks.                                           effective transport method and
Monitor political unrest or                                        make sure the goods are insured
other adverse conditions in                                        by you or the importer.
the country of destination.
Manage regular servicing and
warranty claims.      

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