(FREE) Together with Export Exert Mike Wilson, we explore 10 ways to start exporting around the world.
Recently, we sat down with renowned international trade strategist Mike Wilson to discuss how exporting around the world can help global businesses. Please check out our YouTube Videos on this conversation.
Following on, we caught up with Mike to ask him to name his Top 10 tips.
Let's see what he had to suggest:
Decide where to sell
Have a plan
Choose a route to market
Find the opportunities
Understand the admin
Get paid and get insured
Ensure repeat business
+ How to get more help and a free consultation
1. Decide where to sell
Research is vital! Identify the markets with a little desk research. Find the consumption/import figures of products similar to your own and the economic growth rate of a potential new market. Look up the demographics, cultural and religious practices and your potential competition.
2. Have a plan
Your export plan should include your people, capacity and knowledge of the market. Can someone from your team drive this programme, or do you need to recruit? Do you have enough capacity to meet a new market’s demands? Do you need to upscale? Visit your potential new market. Showcase your products at trade fairs and build new contacts.
3. Choose a route to market
You can do one of four options:
1. Sell directly
2. Use a distributor
3. Use a sales agent
4. Create a joint venture.
Whichever option you chose, you must ensure clarity of responsibility for things like delivery and payment and ALWAYS remember to protect your intellectual property.
4. Find the opportunities
Trade fairs are one of the best ways to find opportunities both in the UK and abroad. Meet buyers and generate new business. Check with us about available grants to subsidise the cost of exhibiting, or see if you can share the cost of a stand with another business.
5. Start marketing
Adverts can help you gain exposure but can be expensive. As with the UK, be mindful of the target audience and expense vs. return on investment. Another option is to create a website with content translated according to your target market. Global social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter can also help you to promote your message quickly and free of charge. Although these do not cost anything to set up, they need time invested to keep updated. Whatever you use, make sure all your marketing materials have up-to-date contact details for your company, along with the person responsible for export sales.
6. Understand the admin
There are certain admin obligations that need to be correct from the start. Countries may have an embassy of the destination country, and they will usually help you to clarify the requirements for customs registration, forms, and payments. Documentation is at the very heart of exporting, without it there is no contract, no transport and no payment. The requirements vary from country to country. We can complete the paperwork on your behalf – in part or in full, depending on your requirements. You can also reach out to specialists and the experts at Customs Manager or Go Exports, of course, to help you out.
7. Get paid and get insured
Once the orders start to come in, you need to be paid. The fundamentals to think about are:
Incoterms: Internationally agreed rules setting out delivery terms for goods traded across borders. Buyer and seller agree on details on the terms of sale to prevent misunderstandings or disputes. Incoterms set out responsibility for the cost of transporting goods, insurance, taxes or duties, pick up points, destinations, and responsibility for the goods at each stage.
Export documentation: Get the right documents to enter the market.
Written quotations: A written quotation must set out the details of your product including the size and packaging formats, as well as any potential additional cost for providing export labelling and packaging which you may be charging to the customer. Setting out the price and delivery terms (incoterms), the estimated date of shipment on arrival and payment terms and conditions is vital to avoid any disputes further down the line. Late, or non-payment of bills is a risk and insurance could be a consideration. Any new customers requesting a form of trade credit need a credit check. An irrevocable letter of credit could be advised which will secure payments according to the terms of the credit and at an agreed rate. Make sure you are insured for your goods during transportation.
8. Legal considerations
Understanding the legal and regulatory environment in all countries to which you would like to export is vital. We can help get your paperwork in place and put you in touch with international lawyers should it be required. Basic things to consider:
Are your product compliance certificates and liability cover valid overseas?
Check your intellectual property rights and registered trademarks.
Will your packaging design appeal to your market? Is there a legal requirement to label things differently or do you need to translate your labelling?
9. Transport logistics
Now you’ve made the sale and agreed the terms, you have to get the goods there! We can help make sense of transportation. From your Incoterms insurance, duties and customs clearance, to the packaging you require and the method(s) of transport or freight forwarders required.
10. Ensure repeat business
Congratulations. Now you have successfully become an international exporter. The work doesn’t stop here. Now you need to increase your chances of repeat business and become a reliable international exporter with a solid brand.
Top tips include:
Keep in regular contact with your customers and get feedback to improve your offer.
Deliver on time and don’t keep people waiting. If delays cannot be avoided, make sure you communicate early and often with your customers and keep them updated on progress.
Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep an eye on other potential customers so that you can grow your sales. Continue with your promotional activity and keep visiting the trade shows.
Now that you are successfully exporting into one market, use everything that you have learnt and apply that to another new market. Explore adjacent countries or those with similar characteristics. You already have a very good understanding of what it takes to become successful, so your exploration into additional markets should be quicker and potentially easier for you to continue with your expansion and growth.
Need more help?
Why not have a free chat with us to discuss your expansion strategy. Easy schedule at www.customsmanager.org for a free consultation. Or reach out directly to Mike Wilson for a free consultation at www.goexporting.com