Trade, Business & Investment Market Research
There is often the assumption that business investments in the emerging markets of Africa are risky. This, in reality, is simply not the case. In fact, there are lucrative and profitable business investment opportunities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The only proviso is that intensive research must be carried out on every factor prior to implementation.
Most newcomers to exporting to emerging markets opt for the relative ease of supplying to English-speaking countries of the old Commonwealth and North America. In many cases British traditions and customs are still very much in evidence and the fact that many British banks and financial institutions have branches in these locations can greatly ease the assimilation process.
Third World and developing countries present particular problems when it comes to importing and exporting. Import export payment facilities and procedures are rarely uncomplicated and locating and managing suitable sales and distribution channels in West Africa can prove difficult, time-consuming and costly
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.
African Trade & Business Investment Data
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.
Trade Organisations and Chambers of Commerce
Among 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.