Export Opportunities: 10 Tips
The BCC is urging businesses to take a measured approach to export opportunities created by sharp falls in the value of Sterling. John Dunsmure, Managing Director of the BCC warned that, for exporters, current economic conditions bring both opportunity and risk. In response to the risk, UK Chambers of Commerce offer services designed to help exporters cut through the paperwork that comes with overseas trade.
“A weak pound does traditionally open the door to export opportunity. We are hearing from business that falling global demand has impacted international orders but the opportunity is still very significant. However, businesses turning to export whilst times are tough at home should tread carefully.”
“It’s all too easy for overseas orders to turn sour if you don’t know the market. Every opportunity must be properly assessed, looking at everything from shipping costs to local regulations, to ensure that a profit can be made and identify any longer term potential. It’s very important to know about export certification, for example. It might seem a formality but getting it done quickly and simply, and getting it right, is vital to delivering orders on time. We have developed Chamber Certification Services to help businesses deal with the necessary paperwork quickly and easily.”
The BCC has developed ten topical tips for exporters, based on their specialist export knowledge and experience:
Export Top Tips
1. Do your homework: Understand the rules of engagement, particularly issues like duties and paperwork. Finding out at the outset what is required might save a few headaches later.
2. Understand the market: For instance, find out how your product and service might need to be adapted for export and what regulations must be complied with.
3. Research costs: Understand any costs you might incur – shipping for instance. A clear understanding of costs is vital to assessing the profitability of each opportunity.
4. Get exchange rate advice: Particularly in uncertain economic times, a good understanding of how fluctuations in exchange rate will affect profitability and pricing is vital.
5. Look to the future: Whilst every profitable sale is welcome, it is always worth looking at long terms market potential, to assess whether initial investment might bear fruit later.
6. Assess the competition: Find out who you are competing with, how their products and pricing differ from yours as well as things like how and where they operate.
7. Communicate effectively: Be sensitive to language and cultural differences in your target market. Tailor your communication to suit potential customers.
8. Streamline the paperwork: Secure export certification and documentation online, to save time and money, but use only trusted suppliers.
9. Don’t over-commit: Focus your efforts on one market at a time and prioritise according to both short term opportunity and long term potential.
10. GET HELP: Export support and advice through every stage of the export process is invaluable. In many cases it makes the difference between success and failure.
For specialist help and advice dealing with any export issue or to find your local UK Chamber of Commerce go to Chamber Certification Services.