Exporting goods abroad can make your business more competitive, increase revenue and pave the way for faster growth. But it isn’t always easy to expand overseas, and the process can be complicated. Here we take a look at five things you should consider before taking the leap into international trading.
1. Have you already achieved success in the UK?
If you haven’t yet mastered the UK market, it may not be time to branch out into other countries. Consider whether you already have a good track record and if you’re really ready to apply your experience to a new market.
2. Have your competitors achieved success abroad?
Who are your competitors in the UK, and have they successfully begun exporting? This could be an indicator as to whether you will also be successful. Also consider who your competitors are in the countries you are considering exporting to, and how you plan to measure up against them. You’ll also want to check your intellectual property, for example to confirm whether your brand name is unique in the country you are exporting to, or if you need to change it for the market.
3. Is there demand for your product abroad?
It goes without saying that you need to consider which countries you could export to, and whether there is demand for your product there. Is there a gap in the market? How much demand is actually there, and how much do you expect to be able to sell?
4. Do you have the resources for international trading?
This includes the financial resources you’ll need to put into planning, developing and marketing your product abroad, as well as the human resources you’ll need for putting these plans into action. It may be that you need to adapt your product or the way it is branded or marketed in order to appeal to an international audience, and all of this takes time and effort – it’s not necessarily simply a case of writing “worldwide shipping now available” on your website. Therefore, another resource you’ll need is local knowledge of your new market, any opportunities and threats, and audience behaviours.
5. What regulations do you need to consider?
You will need to research whether your product needs to be compliant with any standards or regulations in the country you are exporting to, or if you need a licence to export your goods to that country.
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