Mike Josypenko, Director of Special Projects for the Institute of Export gives a brief overview of the basic considerations when getting started in international trade.
Things to consider
Some basic things need to be in place before you begin to export. These include:
- The physical capability and finances to scale up productivity in response to new orders
- Administrative and sales infrastructure
- A sales channel, either direct or through partners (our article on international sales channels explains the different options you have)
- The time and energy to visit new markets several times before exporting
- A website that is optimised for international trade – don’t just use Google language translation. (Our webinar on taking your website and digital marketing global provides plenty of practical advice for this.)
When considering new markets, my advice is not to spread yourself too thinly. It is often best to choose just one or two markets and concentrate on them.
The next key decision factors to look at are pricing, (incorporating exchange rate fluctuations), business culture, language and protecting your intellectual property. These vary according to market, so there’s no generic advice. However, many questions about these areas are already answered on the Open to Export discussion boards by people who have been there and lived to tell the tale!
Trade and exporting experts have also written articles on Open to Export about getting paid, understanding cultural differences between markets, the role of translation in new markets and some of the dos and don’ts of managing IP overseas, so read these for further guidance.