Assumptions to avoid before exporting
Exporting and growing your business internationally is not an easy feat. It requires hard work, determination and the right tools for it to be done properly and to avoid wasting any money. However, it is also important that you seek the right help before exporting, as too many businesses make dangerous assumptions that get them nowhere in terms of international growth. Here are some of the major ones you should avoid making at all costs:
Business Strategy Will Be the Same
You might be fooled into thinking that because you are looking to sell the same products to the same types of people, the same business strategy will work. However, by nature, different countries have different culture and with that comes different expectations and requirements. This means that a strategy that may have been very successful in your domestic market may not work at all in a different country; you’ll need to develop a business strategy specifically for exportation.
Target Market Will Be the Same
As an extension of your business strategy, it is probable that you will need to change how you target buyers according to each country you export to. This is because there is no guarantee that the people buying your products will be the same as in your domestic market. Whereas in the UK, your target market might be middle-aged, middle-class men, in Japan, for example, it could be women aged 18-25 who are most likely to buy your product.
Marketing Is the Best Place to Start
Many people believe that the best place to start when looking to export is with marketing content- after all, how will people know about your products to buy them? However, starting with marketing could actually be a waste of your time, money and effort. Before you start marketing your products in another country, it is vital that you carry out some testing of the appeal and supply and demand of your products in a variety of markets to understand where your products would be most successful, and which countries might be a waste of resources.
Everything Needs to Be Translated Before You Begin
But surely you can’t export your products abroad if you don’t first translate the entirety of your website, products, and all other written content? The answer is, you can. Our view is that you should begin by translating the absolute minimum text required to test the potential market for the product(s) you are looking to export. You should take the translation process step by step as you develop your presence in a particular market. This will avoid wasting money translating text that may not be of use in that language, and help you identify the easiest path to sales, at the minimum cost.
You Can Go It Alone
Because of the specific knowledge and resources necessary for international export, it is very uncommon, for most businesses, to succeed without any type of support. Ideally, you should seek the help of a business that specialises in this field, and can provide you with advice specific to your industry. Not only will this company be able to provide you with support regarding the correct steps to take forward as you begin selling in other countries, they should also be able to offer you support as you continue to trade there.
It Will Happen Overnight
Unless you were incredibly lucky, your business will have taken time to progress and to grow in your domestic market. You will need the same level of dedication, determination and perseverance when it comes to the success of your exported products. Exporting into international markets and developing your international presence should be done gradually and with patience.
Of course, there are many other mistakes that you could make before exporting that could affect your chances at success, but these are perhaps some of the assumptions that are most important to avoid. Exporting should only be done once you are entirely sure that there is a market in your target country, once you are sure of the strategy you will employ, and the steps you will take- a lack of a watertight business plan could put you at risk.