Exporting: 10 Key Steps

Thinking about growing your business overseas? Follow these simple steps to ensure success…

Exporting: 10 Key Steps

Follow these 10 steps for export success:

1. Research your Market

  • Does your prospective foreign customer need what you are selling at the price that will yield you a profit?
  • What is the competition and how will they react?


2. Implement an export strategy and review your capabilities

  • Ask yourself: what would my business gain from exporting?


3. Construct an export plan

  • Define how you will enter the foreign market.
  • Finalise human resources and marketing strategy and allocate an adequate budget to cover export start-up costs.


4. Choose your sales presence

  • Establish whether you need a direct sales operation. Or is an agent or distributor more effective?
  • How will you manage your overseas sales presence?


5. Promote your product

  • How are you going to market and sell your product?
  • Customise marketing to the target country.


6. Get the Customs side right

  • Contact HM Revenue & Customs and the UK embassy of your destination country to clarify requirements.
  • Make sure your reporting practices are watertight.


7. Get paid on time

  • Ensure your cashflow will remain at a safe level.
  • Guarantee sufficient credit for your future sales.
  • Take out insurance cover if necessary.


8. Choose your distribution methods

  • Consider the implications of selling over long distances and across national frontiers.


9. Transport goods effectively

  • Assess and choose the most effective transport method and make sure the goods are insured


10. After-sales policy

  • Regularly liaise with customers, export agents and banks.
  • Monitor political unrest or other adverse conditions in the country of destination.
  • Manage regular servicing and warranty claims.


Export Case Study – Skyline-IFE Ltd

International business has really taken off for Suffolk-based in-flight entertainment company Skyline-IFE.

Since getting professional advice and attending major airline industry exhibitions overseas, the small business has won clients in Norway and Sweden and is bidding for work in the Middle East.

Managing director Richard Barsby says:

“It is relatively new for us to be selling in this way and the expert advice we received was one of the things that gave us the confidence to go ahead. Advice which is tailor made for small businesses like ours made us take a considered look at our strategies and plans.”

“We know that trading conditions are going to get very challenging in the coming year but we believe we are well placed to come through. We’re now very busy presenting new proposals to prospective clients.”

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)

In association with UKTI – Export for Growth

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