First Time Exporter Advice
Considering doing cross-border business for the first time?
Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
1 Take stock of your performance in your home market
- Identify the challenges and opportunities (SWOT analysis)
- How do you perform at home?
- How well have you the home market covered geographically?
- How do you compare against your competitors?
- Do you supply all the multiples – are any markets closed to you?
2 Discuss with your team the opportunities and challenges of entering a new market
- Lead the exercise yourself unless you really believe someone else in the team is better equipped to do this.
- Discuss why you want to extend and grow. (have facts and figures to hand)
- Identify your readiness.
- Fix any blockages.
- Identify all challenges.
- Set ambitious but achievable targets.
- Identify rewards that will arise from new markets.
3 Visit your target marketplace
- Spend time in your target marketplace.
- Meet and talk to as many relevant people as possible even if they are unlikely to be immediate clients or customers. They are all sources of invaluable market information.
- Understand the retail or distribution channels for your product.
- Examine competitors closely.
- Get as much on detail on “price” as possible: End or Retail Price, Wholesale Price, Discounts
- Understand the marketing and promotional approach of Suppliers and Retailers
- Estimate volume
- Size of work (the scale of the task in hand).
- Note any differences from home market.
4 Engage an experienced market research consultant based in the target marketplace
- You or your team are best placed to carry this out and will learn a lot from the research process.
- However a professional marketer based in the new market can assemble facts and figures and reach sources quicker than you may do yourself.
- An independent professional can also provide realistic feedback on the opportunities and challenges.
- Our Acumen programme offers a number of tailored supports to help you with this research.
5 Pull together all your information and research
- Collate all the various information and material you have assembled.
- Draw up a research analysis report - this will clarify many issues, needs and present possible opportunities for you.
6 Proceed to draw up a market entry plan
- A formal market entry plan will establish your date of readiness.
- It should clarify the dos and don’ts and identify priorities and must dos.
- It will identify the physical, human and financial resources required to achieve your objectives.
- Gives opportunity to test likely outcomes, before serious money and resources are committed.
- Increases risk of success.
Support through our Acumen programme may be available at this stage to exploit any opportunities identified.