Are you looking to export? 8 golden rules for success in a new market


person standing on a mountain in golden sunlight

person standing on a mountain in golden sunlight

The export process is an essential step for companies intending to expand their sales abroad, improve their finances and grow. However, mistakes can happen due to a lack of experience and knowledge – issues which can be rectified by those willing to put in the work and plan ahead. By taking these necessary steps, you’ll be able to achieve a successful export process.

1. Know your potential

One of the most important aspects in the export process is analyzing your internal capacity to export to foreign markets. Like any other business, to export, you need extensive preparation and effort ahead of time, and dedication and perseverance to see each step of the process through.

That’s why self-assessment of your production capacity, finances and commercial strategy, among other considerations, will be strictly necessary to make a leap towards an exterior market. This gives you the opportunity to improve problem areas, or supplement your team’s knowledge with further learning so you have all the skills you need in-house.

2. Analyze the market

To understand how to enter into a new market, it is necessary for companies to consider opportunities and threats in that market. Market research is a vital tool for companies to make better decisions, considering economic, political and cultural factors.

Additionally, a thorough investigation can provide information about time and growth of sales at the international level, so you can forecast trends, project targets and build a more detailed plan.

3. Plan your moves

Because you are looking to develop your business, it is important to focus on how exports allow for diversification of risks in the face of unstable home markets and protect you against the effects of macroeconomic problems. However, you must have a clear strategy through prior planning to enter new markets, considering all aspects of selling and the best positioning of the product.

What are your timelines, goals, acceptable risk levels, and potential threats? Does your company need to tailor its products? What work needs to be done to establish a supply chain or a marketing plan for that market? These questions should all be answered well ahead of time.

4. Be ready for market demand

Furthermore, another aspect to consider is whether your business has the capacity to handle the volume of products ordered, and expected to be delivered, according to international market requirements. This may necessitate improving your capacity through more employees, greater production, etc., or scaling back your market entry plan accordingly, among other options.

5. Learn your entry barriers

It is essential that the exporter is informed about the customs regulations in the final market. This could help avoid last minute surprises at the time of importing the merchandise. Usually, the entry barriers of a product are usually of two types: technical or tariff. You must know the regulations, the details of the tariffs, as well as the import procedures of the new market before a single item is exported.

6. Open your mind to negotiate contracts and payment

Before carrying out an operation, the exporter must negotiate the conditions and forms of payment. It could be trough international contracts, which include clear clauses specifying the responsibilities of the parties involved.

Usually, the use of the INCOTERMS are considered at this point, which are standardized terms that are used in the international purchase-sale contracts serving to determine responsibilities. In addition, there are other important documents such as a firm order, an invoice, a bill of lading, letters of credit and other traditional papers.

7. Don’t forget legal practices

The legislation of a foreign country is important to consider in the market entry process because the exporter could encounter several unfamiliar laws and regulations. Companies need to find sufficient information such as international conventions, treaties and international rules. This may help your ability to operate successfully in foreign markets.

On the other hand, exporters may also encounter disputes with client agents or distributors and creditors. It is important to understand your legal rights as an exporter, as well as to have enough information to resolve disputes while you are trying to sell products or services in a foreign market.

8. Immerse yourself in your target market

Finally, cultural and language barriers should not be underestimated. The customs and expectations in international trade can vary greatly from one country to another. For this reason, exporters must have professionals who know the local language, culture and way of doing business.

You must also understand the various elements will influence the negotiation process – for example, the nature of the contract, the economic interests of the parties, including currency exchange rates, the experience of each party, and the persuasive capacity of all parties involved.

Trade offers the greatest opportunities to grow your business

In the current world in which we live, the greatest possibilities for growth are linked to globalization and to the scenarios that help more companies sell more products in more countries around the world.

If you are looking forward to learning more about business growth and sustainability through international trade, you will find more information throughout the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) website, where you have the opportunity to obtain the skills needed to cross borders with your products and services and have a global reach.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Author: Andreina Figuera

Andreina Figuera is a sales executive within mining and construction industries with large experience in trading in North and Latin America, having lived in Venezuela, Panama, and Brazil, and visited more than 15 countries. She is a dynamic professional, passioned for international trade, business development, and multicultural affairs. Furthermore, Andreina holds a bachelor in international business, diploma in senior management, and an MBA. Currently, she is living in Canada, also performing as instructor for the international business program at Herzing College., Montreal, Canada

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