Posted on 26 May 2016
If you've already tested the water when it comes to exporting, then you know that exposure to overseas markets can create exciting opportunities. According to data from the UK Trade & Investment, companies that export become 34 per cent more productive in the first year alone. However, when it comes to exploring new markets, one size does not fit all and flexibility is the key to on-going success.
Some of the key issues are:
Having an export plan
Many companies approach global expansion from a reactive, opportunistic angle. They receive an enquiry online or via a Trade Mission which becomes their main overseas focus even though it might offer little potential and drains precious resources. Classic mistakes can be avoided by creating a flexible export plan that builds on knowledge and experiences gained and looks at new markets from a strategic, research and planning point of view.
Fill the knowledge gap
Getting the right kind of help can make a big difference and save time and money long-term. Experts can open your eyes to a wide range of potential opportunities, from using smart logistics to overcome specific challenges to navigating currency and credit terms as well as creating or tailoring brand and messaging themes.
Being prepared to go back to the drawing board is central to on-going exporting success. Refining and adapting your export plan are important factors for managing risk. For example, you might not be able to replicate in India what worked in Sri Lanka because of cultural, market or political differences.
Growth & Momentum
Venturing into new foreign markets creates resilience and resourcefulness. It gives companies access to many more customers, reduces costs by increasing volumes, extends product cycles, and often delivers stronger sales margins. Therefore, managing expectations at home and abroad is important as it can impact on areas as varied as optimum production levels to considering new channels for outsourcing and learning to work as a global team.
Nigel Cliffe, Chief Marketing Officer of Think Global Growth, said: "When you first go into exporting, nothing is ever quite as it seems.
"It is very important to create an export plan that starts with researching the opportunities and gathering together vital intelligence to make educated and carefully considered decisions about where to focus resources.
"Learning to adapt and change according to local conditions is vital. Successful exporting brings new challenges and learning to manage the needs of many diverse market places is an ongoing process."
Nigel Cliffe, Chief Marketing Officer of Think Global Growth, is an experienced multichannel marketing technologist with over 30 years experience in combining the best of marketing with the best of technology to drive improved business performance. Nigel has worked with a wide variety of clients from small to medium enterprises through to some of the world's largest companies. He specialises in digital marketing, digital strategy, lead generation, digital asset management, LinkedIn and business-to-business social media marketing. email@example.com
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