Simple Guide to Cross-Border Business

Sales Growth on your Doorstep

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.