Is your business ready for export?

Whether a business is ready for export will be highly dependent on factors such as the market that they are in and how regulated it is across other countries. It is much easier to decide to expand into new export markets when the cost of entry is minimal or zero due to there being very little or no additional costs to go to a new market.

Are you ready for export?

Using our experience at Gateway2EMEA we have put together a 10-point checklist to help you answer this question. If you can answer yes to the all of the questions below then you will likely be ready for export.

1 Are you profitable?
2 Do you have existing customers?
3 Have you been in business longer than 18 months?
4 Are your products/solutions/services in demand in other countries?
5 Are your products/solutions/services ready to be sold internationally?
6 Is your business ready for growth, processes, resources, proven product/services, quality?
7 Is your home market stable or growing?
8 Can you fund the additional costs of exporting?
9 Do your products/solutions/services need to be adapted for the local market?
10 Are your systems and processes robust enough?

Export considerations

We have listed below some of the points to consider before your put your toes into the water and embark on your export journey.
1 Legislation for your products/solutions/services in overseas markets
2 Delivery costs to get your products to the buyer
3 Import duty and taxes
4 Language translation for website, literature, packaging & documentation
5 Warranty
6 Environment/Climate
7 Buying culture of potential markets
8 Cashflow, getting paid, currency fluctuations
9 New customer support requirements
10 Additional costs of business, travel, exhibitions, advertising, sales costs, operating costs

ready for export

Before you go to export markets

Before you take the big leap into international export it is very sensible to have the following tasks completed.

Competitive analysis
Market entry plan
Sales plan
Any product/solutions/services amendments completed
Any translation required completed
Any legal documents/contracts completed
Product/solution/services protection in place such as patents if required

New company structure and processes in place to handle new business

All third-party suppliers including banks, accountants, and insurance companies are aware of your expansion

Do you have the correct mindset?

Even though we are Europeans in the UK we are culturally much different to our colleagues on the mainland. Being aware of these cultural differences is a key if you want to understand your international customer. Cultural differences can affect a range of things including your brand name, how your presentations are made, packaging, warranty and, in several countries, payment terms.

Before starting on the road to exporting, it is a good idea to set not just a realistic financial target but set some real goals in terms of numbers of customers, resellers or distributors. They are the measurements that really matter.

Don’t forget your home market

It is very easy when trying to expand into new markets to take your eye off the ball and forget about your local market. When embarking on market expansion you need to ensure that you have enough resources and focus on growing your local market and at the same time expand internationally.

This document was produced by Gateway2EMEA.
If you have any questions or we can be of any further help please contact us using the information below, and follow us on twitter.

Email:      [email protected]
Phone:    +44 7768 152360
Twitter:  @gateway2emea

Topics: Export Planning, Getting Started, Legislation & Regulation, Market Research, and Operations
Export Action Plan