Step 3: Conduct Market Research
Having a deep understanding of your export market will help you make sound export marketing decisions by giving you a clear picture of the economic, political and cultural factors that affect your ability to sell your product or service. Ultimately it will help you to avoid costly mistakes by reducing your exposure to the unknowns.
Step 4: Create an International Marketing Plan
Marketing for the domestic market can be vastly different from the international market and thus a dedicated International Marketing Plan should be developed to ensure that the needs, tastes and customs of the international audience. Good marketing strategies help the exporter understand and address the potential differences between the domestic and international audiences.
Step 5: Entering the Target Market
You have assessed your readiness, completed your export plan, conducted your research and devised your marketing plans. You feel ready to enter the market but seek the best strategy to reach potential customers. There are many market entry strategies however they can be generally grouped in to three main categories, direct, indirect and strategic alliance.
Step 6: Pricing Your Product or Service and Receiving Payment
Typically, international pricing is more “negotiable” than may be the case domestically and your pricing will be affected by your chosen distribution channel and even the exchange rate of the target market. Either way you want to remain competitive in the minds of the consumer in the target market.
Step 7: Getting your Product or Service to Market
Every market has its own set of rules and regulations covering safety, health, security, packaging and labeling, customs and duties among other things and these may vary depending on the product or service you are exporting. It is critical that you understand the rules and regulations that apply to your product or service before you ship your goods or even embark on opening a foreign business location.
Step 8: Financing
While there are overnight export success stories, most companies must be prepared to invest both time and financial resources to see the return on their investment and the subsequent success.
Step 9: Legal Considerations
Exporting exposes Caribbean businesses to unfamiliar laws and regulations. There are numerous international conventions, treaties and national, regional and municipal rules that can affect your ability to operate successfully in foreign markets such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Exporters may also encounter disputes with agents or distributors, clients or creditors. It is important to understand your rights and obligations when resolving disputes, selling goods or services and protecting intellectual property.
Step 10: Start Exporting
You have committed yourself to exporting and assessed your readiness. You have the skills and the resources to undertake the challenge. You have conducted research on the market and prepared your export plan, international marketing plan and financial plan. Your market entry strategy is clear and the support systems (i.e. freight forwarder, customs broker, financial lenders, legal advisors) are in place. You have gone through the export process step-by-step and feel confident that you have covered all the bases. Now, it is time to put all this skill and knowledge to use.
For further information you can contact us at GO-Invest or the Caribbean Export Development Agency at www.carib-expo.com
The world is waiting for your product or service!