10 Key Steps to Successful Exporting

Posted on: 06/11/2014 in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs

With UKTI’s 6th Export Week coming up next week, there was never a better time to get started in export. It’s well known that businesses that export are more profitable, more innovative and employ more people than those that don’t. Research also suggests that exporting companies see average growth of 30 % within two years of venturing to overseas markets. Follow our 10 Key Steps to Successful Exporting and get your business started in export!

10 Key Steps to Successful Exporting:

  1. Review your export potential – if you are looking to expand your sales operation, are ready with the capacity to respond to increased demand and have nailed customer relations and communication, your business is likely to be in a strong position to make a success of exporting.
  2. Decide which countries you should focus on – research into new markets is key before you begin – is there a demand for your good/services at a price which will yield decent profit margins?
  3. Consider the competition – who would your main competitors be and how are they likely to react to your entry into the market?
  4. Formulate an export action plan – consider who your most profitable customers are now and look to find similar potential clients overseas, defining how you will enter the foreign market.
  5. Visit the market in advance to get a feel for the country and learn about business practice and customs – this can be vital in terms of sustaining valuable business relationships
  6. Decide upon a sales strategy – consider whether you will need a direct sales operation, presence in country or whether the services of an agent would be suitable and more profitable
  7. Consider how you will promote your products/services – will you need to adapt your offering or usual sales and marketing strategies to your target market
  8. Prepare to manage financial and payment issues and minimize risks – consider how you will monitor cash flow and avoid payment difficulties, whether letter of credit or insurance cover will be required.
  9. Make sure you’re on top of relevant Customs and tax rules and regulations – contact HM Revenue and Customs and the UK embassy of your chosen country for advice on the correct documentation and reporting requirements
  10. Transport and distribution – assess the options and select the best transport and distribution methods to suit your product and your budget.

Does size matter?

If you’re an SME owner, you may be thinking that the capital outlay and man hours involved in the above steps effectively puts you out of the market for exports – in fact, you couldn’t be more wrong! A significant percentage of exporters are small businesses who have found innovative ways of circumventing some of the steps outlined above to access new markets.

Using specialist agents like Kazopp can dramatically reduce the cost and time involved in getting started in exports or beginning exports to a new country, so if you’re interested in opportunities in Kazakhstan, get in touch for a discussion as to how we might be able to help.