Have a set of clear goals and research your target market before you start exporting
Has your business reached a point where exporting could represent growth opportunities? How do you go about it? What is your target market?
A market entry strategy includes these essential elements. It allows you to clarify business goals, actions to take, and how to measure your efforts over time.
Implementing a plan to enter a new market takes time, sometimes several years!
It is quite common for companies to start exporting without a clearly defined strategy, which often leads to poor results. For this reason, it is best to establish your strategy before you start exporting.
1. Set clear goals
As with any strategy, it is essential to lay the groundwork by stating your goals and then breaking down your actions into smaller projects so that your progress is achievable and measurable. Details to be specified include:
- the business objectives;
- the targeted sales level;
- the specific product or service you will be exporting;
- your target market;
- the main KPIs;
- the budget and other available resources.
Start by defining a market entry strategy through a document outlining your direction. You can then add a marketing plan that will be more specific on:
- the necessary adaptations of products, packaging and brands according to the target market;
- details of prices and promotions;
- a more complete overview of your target market and the competition.
2. Survey your market
It is then advisable to conduct in-depth research on your target market. The information to gather includes:
- the size of the market;
- consumer trends, needs and perceptions of products like yours;
- local competition;
- your unique value proposition in the market;
- regulatory, certification, trade and other barriers and opportunities;
The idea is to validate the presence of a need in the target market and find the reasons why buyers should buy your product or service rather than those of a local company. Never underestimate your competition! If you don’t see how your offering is different, you better not go to the target market.
How to do your research:
- Online research, including publications, studies and statistics available from governments and international organisations;
- speaking with other companies operating in the target market;
- contacting trade and industry associations;
- attending virtual trade shows and conferences
3. Define your entry Strategy
Then choose how you are going to enter the market.
You may need to rethink the way you advertise your products or services. Do you sell directly to the end user or do you work with intermediaries such as wholesalers or distributors? If you are selling directly to customers, do you need the help of a local sales agent to “open the doors” and facilitate sales? Contact us
You may consider choosing from several options or combining them.
- Distributors / Agents
- Acquiring an existing local business.
- Strategic partnerships (franchising, licensing, joint venture, co-production and cross-manufacturing etc.)
- Establishing a physical presence. This can range from buying or renting an office to hiring a local representative. Reexia can help!
- Selling via online marketplaces.
- Direct sales through your e-commerce site.
- Selling indirectly through another company that exports your products.
4. Write your strategy Down
Be sure to write down the details of your market entry strategy. Don’t just keep them in your head. This document will help you obtain the necessary financing and will serve as a framework for your export marketing plan.