Tuesday, 8 February 2011

International Export Business Advice - Top Tips

  1. Research Your Market
    Regardless of whatever it is that you want to export you must first find out if you prospective customers need what you are selling and if you can sell it to them at a price which will make you a profit. Your biggest expenses will probably be the manufacturing or purchasing of the product and the cost of getting them to their destination. You will need to consider look for a reliable supplier who can offer cost-effective Air Freight or Sea Freight services to export large bulky items internationally. For smaller products you may consider look for a reliable door-to-door parcel delivery and courier service. Be prepared to shop around and find yourself the best price. Find out what your competitors are doing and try to predict how they will react.
  2. Implement an Exporting Strategy
    Put together a strategy for how you are going to get the run your company, how will you get your goods to your customers? What is it your business will gain from exporting and how can you maximise on the opportunity? What suppliers will you use?
  3. Devise an Export Plan
    Think about how you will enter the foreign market? What would your marketing stategy be? Consider what the costs are going to be and allocate a suitable budget to cover your start-up costs. Approach freight forwarding companies and any other relevant suppliers and ask them to give you an idea of pricing.
  4. Identify your Sales Presence
    Consider how you will sell your products in the chosen country. Would using an agent or distributor be more effective or will you choose a more direct approach?
    How will you manage your overseas sales presence?
  5. Product Promotion & Marketing
    Decide how you are going to market or sell your product. How will you create awareness of it? Different marketing strategies will be suitable for different countries so be prepared to customise your marketing strategy towards the target country.
  6. Understand the relevant customs requirements
    Do plenty of research and make sure you fully undestand the customs requirements of any country you plan on exporting too. Don't rely on the freight forwarding companies as they some times only take responsibility of the transport of the goods to the destination but your end contact be have to deal with customs. Some freight forwarding companies may be able to offer customs clearance as an option. Contact HM Revenue & Customs for advice an we always recommend contacting customs at your intended destination, or the UK embassy of your intended country to clarify the requirements.

  7. Payment
    It may sound simple but make sure you get paid on time. Cashflow plays an important role in running any business and is especially important when starting up. Ensure that your cashflow will remain at a safe level and consider taking out insurance if necessary.

  8. Choose your methods of distribution
    Consider the implications of selling goods internationally and think about how you will handle your distribution.
  9. Transportation
    Consider what your transport options are and choose the most effective method for your business. You should consider your products and their intended destination. You may need to consider having a range of suppliers such as
    Air Freight or Sea Freight services or door-to-door parcel delivery and courier services. Find out if the goods are insured either by you or the importer.

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