Factsheet

Points to consider before exporting

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Before you make the decision to export, think about the resources and knowledge your business already has and the changes you may need to make.

Consider the following:

EXPECTATIONS

  • Are your export objectives clear and achievable?
  • Do you know what exporting involves and what it takes to succeed?
  • Are you open to new ways of doing business?

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Can your staff handle the extra demand associated with exporting?
  • Is your team committed to succeeding in new markets?
  • Can you respond quickly to customer inquiries?
  • Do you have personnel with culturally-sensitive marketing skills?
  • How will you deal with language barriers?

FINANCIAL AND LEGAL RESOURCES

  • Can you obtain enough capital or credit to produce the product or deliver the service?
  • Will you find ways to reduce the financial risks of international trade?
  • Do you have people to advise you on the legal and tax implications of exporting?
  • How will you deal with different monetary systems?
  • Is your intellectual property protected?

COMPETITIVENESS

  • Do you have the resources to do market research?
  • How do you plan to enter export markets?
  • Is your product or service viable in your target market?

CUSTOMER PROFILE

  • Who already uses your product or service?
  • Is it in broad general use or limited to a particular group?
  • Is it popular with a certain age group?
  • Are there other significant demographic patterns to its use?
  • What climatic or geographic factors affect the use of your product or service?

PRODUCT MODIFICATION

  • Are modifications required to make it appeal to foreign customers?
  • What is its shelf life? Will this be reduced by time in transit?
  • Is the packaging expensive? Can it be easily modified to satisfy the demands of foreign customers?
  • Is special documentation required? Does it need to meet any technical or regulatory requirements?

TRANSPORTATION

  • How easily can it be transported?
  • Would transportation costs make competitive pricing a problem?

LOCAL REPRESENTATION

  • Does it require professional assembly or other technical skills?
  • Is after-sales service needed? If so, is it available locally or do you have to provide it? Do you have the resources to do this?

EXPORTING SERVICES

  • If you are exporting services, what is unique or special about them?
  • Are your services considered to be world-class?
  • Do you need to modify your services to allow for differences in language, culture and business environment?
  • How do you plan to deliver your services: in person, with a local partner or electronically?

CAPACITY

  • Can you serve both your existing domestic customers and your new foreign clients?
  • Will you be able to look after your export customers if domestic demand increases?

(Source: Canada Business Ontario)

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