Your local Business & lifestyle magazine
Different markets require different approaches. A product or service that is very profitable in your domestic market may not be so in an overseas market. Factors such as shipping, currency fluctuations and the target market’s legal requirements need to be taken into account whenever a product is taken abroad.
#1 Not doing your market research
You need to think carefully about the customers who will buy your product, the best way to sell in the market, your competition and the market situation. You should also investigate practical issues such as route to market, logistics, regulations and local suppliers in your chosen market.
#2 Not testing the market first
There are simple, cost effective ways to test the market before considering any major investment. Depending on the product/service and your potential customers, social media may offer a viable platform for testing the market. Google pay per click campaigns aimed at the country you are targeting can also be a very cost effective way to research a potential market.
#3 Not planning your entry strategy
A planned approach helps you to identify the best opportunities. It ensures that you understand what’s involved and have the resources and skills you need. It is important to be realistic in your ambitions. Identify
your product or service that is best suited to exporting first even if you are not clear on your target market at this point in time.
#4 Assuming your product will not need any modification
Different countries have different requirements. What is acceptable in your domestic market for your product may not be acceptable in another country. To prevent a costly product recall, a simple research study can unearth the regulatory requirements of the target country and put your endeavour on firm legal ground.
#5 Assuming your sales staff do not need training in international trade
Sales staff who are experienced in their domestic market will still need to be trained for international trade. Training required will depend on the company’s product/service, market entry method and type of customers. For example, international packaging requirements can be quite different from the domestic requirements. And trying to export products without the correct labels will result in product recalls costing money and time.
#6 Not realising different markets need different approaches
A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work since there are big differences between different markets and countries. For each overseas market, you’ll need a clear understanding of who your customers are, what motivates them to buy and how best to market your products to them. In order to be successful in overseas trade, you need a clear understanding of the market you are targeting and how your product will fit within it.
#7 Not taking into account cultural issues and language barriers
You need to understand local cultural influences in order to sell your products effectively. For example, your product may be viewed as a basic commodity at home, but not in your overseas market. Your sales and marketing approach will need to reflect this change in perception. You will also need to consider language issues.