Five key steps to exporting

Mon 19 Dec 2011
Posted by: International Trade News

Selling internationally is very complex but – as with most things – easy with help and appropriate training.

Our five key steps below will help you as a www.exporter to get right before you start expanding your horizons.

Research your markets

We don’t just mean GDP figures and statistics – but exactly who you are going to sell to. Find out what makes them tick and understand their culture from how they do their business cards to the style of clothes they wear. What do you need to do to change or adapt to operate in this market – walking a mile in their moccasins could be a starter for 10!

Research what factors impact on your price.

What duties does the market impose? What is their equivalent of our VAT? How many days do they take to pay? What method of payment do they use and how much does that cost? Which currency do they use and how can you plan to mitigate any risks involved in selling with this currency?

Research their need for your product or service

Does it need modifying before being accepted? Does the colour offend or mean something? Red is lucky in China but what does it mean in other markets? Are you legally obliged to operate in the local language? Does your product use electricity voltage – and will modification costs make selling prohibitive? Remember, it’s much easier to fulfill a demand than try and create one.

Research your trading name

Can you use it in its current format and what does it mean locally? Check its meaning in the vernacular too and, most importantly find out if someone else is using it. Check the market’s attitude to copyright, design rights and trademarks. Find ways to mitigate the risk – if you can’t then choose another market to sell to.

Research how you’ll deliver your product

What is the infrastructure like away from the main cities? Are there any logistics headaches and would a lack of broadband jeopardise your product being delivered? Is your packaging sufficiently robust while still being attractive? These are just some of the many things to consider.