Broaden Your Horizons With International Sales
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
But whilst many companies have the potential to grow through exporting into new markets they are reluctant to do so for a variety of often well founded reasons. Exporting can indeed be fraught with complexity, pitfalls and risk, particularly if the necessary skills are not available.
However, it is possible for exporting to be made much simpler:
- Research is vital: even experienced exporters should carry out regular market appraisals, but research is not a substitute for decision. The results may be inconclusive and you’ll have to decide whether or not take the risk.
- Evaluate the costs thoroughly: research costs money but the real costs start when, for instance, products and packaging have to be changed to meet customer specifications or a distributor needs continuous marketing support.
- Concentrate on a just a few markets: select those with sufficient potential where your product has competitive advantage – small markets may have niche opportunities and less competition; visit the market yourself.
- Talk to leading buyers and visit as many exhibitions as possible.
Real opportunities exist in areas such as the Asia-Pacific region where the world share of imports has doubled over the past twenty years. The area is built on a strong economy and financial wealth and offers exporters one of the best prospects for sustained highly profitable growth anywhere in the world.
Business Link can offer advice to help businesses develop their export potential using the specialist service of Trade Partners UK. This can offer an opportunity to become involved in a full programme of international trade activities from trade missions and export sales training to joint ventures and partnerships.