Some businesses begin with export marketing included in their corporate plan; others slip gradually into exporting, perhaps having been approached by an overseas buyer with whom a profitable business relationship emerges, and it subsequently becomes clear that other exporting avenues might also prove profitable.
The most likely first venues for marketing abroad might well be those arising from unsolicited enquiries from potential foreign customers, and information obtained from trade publications, newspapers and specialist export publications.
Exports can obviously increase markets for one’s goods many times over, but for the newcomer exporting can also present numerous complications and learning difficulties.
Though the temptation might exist, the newcomer is usually advised to gradually enter the export field, perhaps starting with one overseas market and gradually increasing the range of destinations in which one’s products and services are offered.
The all-important initial market research to assess the suitability of your product or service to overseas markets, is one that might well be aided by a visit to a trade show in the country of intended export.
There the exporter can speak to foreign and international business men and women and obtain copies of relevant trade publications.The exporter might well find the product requires some modification to suit overseas markets, and that an import licence is required before certain products will be allowed into some countries.
All can be discussed with export information and advisory bodies on the entrepreneur’s return.
Amongst the more useful sources of information and advice for newcomers and established exporters are Trade Organisations and Chambers of Commerce, most of the largest of which are able to provide group selling facilities, fact finding services, organised trips abroad, payments & shipping advice, import export documentation advice, and so on.
The larger Chambers of Commerce hold regular meetings at which members can benefit from the experience and advice of fellow members and longer-established exporters. Additionally, many Chambers hold regular seminars on matters related to exporting, some aimed at relative beginners and therefore offering a more than useful insight into the ins and outs of this particular marketing method.
All of the major banks offer free literature and guidance to intending and established exporters, and many have specialist advisers available to answer whatever questions you might have in your beginning days as an exporter, as well as problems you might encounter as you begin venturing into new and untested markets.