Output in British manufacturing is on the rise, and is a key driver in the country’s economic growth.
Much of this accelerated growth, however, is due to domestic demand, and while exports are on the rise, their growth is marginal in comparison to domestic sales.
Despite UK plc underperforming on the export front, the international success of domestic brands such as Brompton Bikes and The Cambridge Satchel Company clearly show that the “Made in Britain” mark carries significant value.
At Today Translations, we love to see British brands succeed in new markets. It’s what our translation and export advisory services were designed to do! But there are also a number of factors producers and business owners should be aware of before making the great leap.
We’ve compiled 10 of what we think are the most important ones:
Choose the right country
Market research should focus on two principle questions: Where is demand strong, and where is supply weak?
We suggest launching for export initiative in a single country and keeping things as focused as possible. However, if you want to tap into a broader market, choose a region that shares a common language, similar cultures or is with closely-bound by trade agreements.
Check the cost
Aside from production and distribution costs in the UK, it is crucial to know how much capital it will take cover shipping, insurance, import duties, foreign taxes such as VAT (if payable), and of course overseas distribution and storage costs.
With all these factors taken into account, does this still leave room for competitive pricing and a decent profit margin? If not, you may need to rethink your target regions. If so, read on.
Know the market
We suggest three main points that will sum up most of what you need to know about the market:
- Conduct some basic consumer research and get an idea of your target market’s tastes and buying habits.
- Know how new products are being marketed within the region and get an idea of how local prices compare.
- Where would your product most likely be sold? In open-air markets, department stores, online, etc?
Analyse the local competition
Find out which companies or doing well and which aren’t, and try to establish why this is the case. If the competition is particularly fierce, then perhaps a better foot in the market would be to form a partnership with one of the local companies.
More often than not, this is the safer, more cost-effective approach.
Decide on the best business model
Is it totally necessary to establish and register a new local company, complete with a local office and local staff members?
This is certainly an ambitious move if this is your first venture into a totally foreign market. A safer approach may well be to find a reliable local partner and see how much work they can put into helping your product succeed in the new market.
Choose the right local partner
This is potentially the most important factor to take into consideration, and trust us, you will need a local partner when you begin your foreign venture. It’s therefore vital that you choose the right one . This will be the crux of your procurement and due diligence process.
These kind of checks are easy to do yourself, but make sure you do them thoroughly. Don’t let carelessness bring down your business.
Also make sure that they are they both trustworthy and reliable, ie can they cover the right areas and handle your goods and products from the port all the way to market place?
Prepare a plan
There’s no need to go overboard with the details, but make sure you’re covering the essentials, such as your export budget and contingency, key dates in your export calendar, your marketing plan for the new market, your sales targets and with it your expected return on investment.
You know best which time scale you prefer working with.
Draft a contractual agreement with your local partner
An agreement must be drafted and in place when you’re ready to start working. It is therefore worth getting done sooner rather than later.
Be sure to include two very important clauses: first, that it should be governed by English law and, second, if the contract exists in two languages with unnoticed discrepancies in the translation, then the English version prevails.
Start as you mean to continue
This is more about your attitude and behaviour, as opposed to the scope of the operation, which you’ll obviously hope will be ever-expanding.
Success only emanates from effective collaboration, which turn emanates from a common commercial interest, transparency and regular contact
Remember, you’re British
It’s a fantastic asset in foreign markets, so use it!
Today Translations has helped British businesses tap into new markets by providing everything from translation and interpreting services, to specialist briefings and consultation. If you’d like to find out more about our services, please feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org