If you have a high quality product or service, with low price and an amazing international trade chain, congratulations! … You have the “secret sauce” of success and you will not stop growing, stop reading! 🙂
Otherwise, do not worry, you can reach it! (and export is one of the most interesting and consistent ways to achieve business success).
The export cycle is usually the following way (and lasts approx. 2 to 5 years); milestones:
1.- Decision to export and internal analysis (this step usually takes 1 to 3 months):
The whole organization has to be interested, it all starts with the commitment of the partners/owners who should lead the team; from there, it’s time to make a proper diagnosis of the company/product/service that can be done -custom/bespoke-, through a consultant or, if not possible (vaguer, because of generic) through online tools (an interesting source, as a basic guide is Globaledge).
2.- To prepare the organization and team/HR (this stage usually takes 6 to12 months):
Catalogs and website, manuals and handbooks, packaging, transport, prices, estimates… have to be adapted to international standards and the target markets.
3.- External analysis and decision to enter 1 or 2 test markets (this step may be developed simultaneously with the above one): Benchmarking with other competitors in our sector and entry strategies aimed at these target markets: Access, potential, risk, action!
4.- Analysis of these test markets and readapt the strategies and tactics (this stage usually takes about 12 months).
5.- Going to other markets and new adjustments at all levels (between 5 and 33 months):
Marketing (web, catalogs, fairs and events), Sales (improvements of the channels, new strategies, electronic markets), Operations (logistics and product/service upgrades), Personal (technical reorganizations of the export team based on market needs).
To some extent, exporting entails a relative complexity, an increase in the investment and a feeling of “lossing grip” (it is not the same a dashboard to handle the local market than other to manage a bigger and more complex surface); but on the other hand, it can bring so many benefits, including returns as: Increased knowledge of our sector, sales and customer growth, reduced country risk, increase our competitiveness, improved corporate image and credibility, greater ability to optimize economies of scale, etc.
Did you find the information useful? Do you need advice on foreign trade and international sales?, please contact me or follow me on social media.