Research is vital! Identify the markets with a little desk research. Find the consumption / import figures of products similar to your own and the economic growth rate of a potential new market. Look up the demographics, cultural and religious practices and your potential competition.
Your export plan should include your people.
Can someone from your team drive this programme or do you need to recruit?
Do you have enough capacity to meet a new market’s demands? Do you need to upscale?
Will your packaging design appeal to your market? Is there a legal requirement to label things differently or do you need to translate your labelling?
Visit your potential new market. Showcase your products at trade fairs and build new contacts.
You can do one of four options:
1. Sell directly
2. Use a distributor
3. Use a sales agent
4. Create a joint venture.
Whichever option you chose, you must ensure clarity of responsibility for things like delivery and payment and ALWAYS remember to protect your intellectual property.
Trade fairs are one of the best ways to find opportunities both in the India and abroad. Meet buyers and generate new business. Check with indian government about available grants to subsidise the cost of exhibiting, or see if you can share the cost of a stand with another business.
Adverts can help you gain exposure but can be expensive. As with the India, be mindful of the target audience and expense vs. return on investment. Another option is to create a website with content translated according to your target market. Global social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter can also help you to promote your message quickly and free of charge. Although these do not cost anything to set up, they need time invested to keep updated. Whatever you use, make sure all your marketing materials have up-to-date contact details for your company along with the person responsible for export sales.
There are certain admin obligations that need to be correct from the start. The Indian Embassy of the destination country will help you to clarify the requirements for customs registration, forms, and payments.
Documentation is at the very heart of exporting, without it there is no contract, no transport and no payment. The requirements vary from country to country.
Once the orders start to come in, you need to be paid. We can help make sure you do that with:
Internationally agreed rules setting out delivery terms for goods traded across borders. Buyer and seller agree details on the terms of sale to prevent misunderstandings or disputes. Incoterms set out responsibility for the cost of transporting goods, insurance, taxes or duties, pick up points, destinations, and responsibility for the goods at each stage.
Get the right documents to enter the market.
A written quotation must set out the details of your product including the size and packaging formats, as well as any potential additional cost for providing export labelling and packaging which you may be charging on to the customer. Setting out the price and delivery terms (incoterms), the estimated date of shipment on arrival and payment terms and conditions is vital to avoid any disputes further down the line. Late, or non-payment of bills is a risk and insurance could be a consideration. Any new customers requesting a form of trade credit need a credit check. An irrevocable letter of credit could be advised which will secure payments according to the terms of the credit and at an agreed rate. Make sure you are insured for your goods during transportation.
Understanding the legal and regulatory environment in all countries to which you would like to export is vital.
Things to consider:
Are your product compliance certificates and liability cover valid overseas? Check your intellectual property rights and registered trademarks.
Now you’ve made the sale and agreed the terms, you have to get the goods there! We can help make sense of transportation. From your Incoterms insurance, duties and customs clearance, to the packaging you require and the method(s) of transport or freight forwarders required.
Congratulations. Now you have successfully become an international exporter. The work doesn’t stop here. Now you need to increase your chances of repeat business and become a reliable international exporter with a solid brand.
Keep in regular contact with your customers and get feedback to improve your offer.
Deliver on time and don’t keep people waiting. If delays cannot be avoided make sure you communicate early and often with your customers and keep them updated on progress.
Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep an eye on other potential customers so that you can grow your sales. Continue with your promotional activity and keep visiting the tradeshows.What’s next?
Now that you are successfully exporting into one market use everything that you have learnt and apply that to another new market. Explore adjacent countries or those with similar characteristics. You already have a very good understanding of what it takes to become successful so your exploration into additional markets should be quicker and potentially easier for you to continue with your expansion and growth.