The following questions focus on some of the characteristics successful exporters have in common.
How many of these can you answer with a yes?
1. Does your company or your product have a service that sells well at home?
The success of a service or a product on the home market is a good indicator on the product’s potential success abroad. If your product is untested, it's a good ides to test it on the domestic market first.
2. Have you prepared or are you in the process of preparing an international marketing plan with well-defined goals and strategies?
Many companies begin exporting in a somewhat random way without examining different markets and possibilities first. A marketing plan means that your company can locate and focus on the best export possibilities. With a thoroughly thought out export strategy you'll enhance the chances of making the right decisions, of your resources being spend most efficiently and of your efforts resulting in success in the end.
3. Does your company have the production capacity that the export market require?
It's important that your company is able to answer the demand you create. You might need more space and equipment in order to produce to the specific countries you are selling to (who have their own standards and rules). An expansion to the international market means that you have to produce more units and it is of course not a good idea that this increase in production affect the quality of your product.
4. Does your company have the economic power to support the marketing effort in your foreign market(s)?
It expensive to develop a new market and financing is often a challenge that hit many companies hard.
5. Is the company’s leadership ready to develop a new market and do you have the will and ability to allocate employees, time and resources on it?
The dedicated effort from management is alpha and omega for your company’s export success. It requires time and hard work to develop an export market. If management isn't fully dedicated, you should consider using an export consultancy company.
6. Is your company ready to grant the same level of service on your export market, as your domestic market receives?
You have to acknowledge the importance of this before beginning to export. A successful exporter provides for his foreign and domestic customers equally.
7. Does your company possess the required knowledge for adapting packaging and ingredients, so that they live up to foreign rules of import and cultural preferences?
Selection and preparation of products for export takes more than product knowledge. It also takes a thorough knowledge about every one of those markets that you have chosen. Market research and cooperation with foreign contacts should provide your company with an idea of which products to sell where. It may be necessary to adjust a product according to the taste or the needs of an export market or its rules and demands.
8. Does your company possess the required knowledge about shipping to a foreign county, such as identifying foreign shipping agents and freight costs?
When you send a product abroad, it's important that you have requirements for packaging, documentation and insurance in order. Here, an international shipping agent can be of assistance. Shipping agents know the rules of import and limitations abroad, rules of export, methods of shipping and what documents are needed. Shipping agents help exporters by guiding them through freight prices, port charges, consulting expenses, insurance fees etc.
9. Does your company have the necessary knowledge of export mechanisms of payment, such as working out and negotiating letters of credit?
Experienced shipping agents have an extensive knowledge of the mechanisms of payment in relation to export and only offer credit with caution. They assess new customers thoroughly and constantly observe old customers. This type of information can be obtained from the various business databases around.