There comes a time when your business will be facing the issue of whether it should start exporting or not. Before you even begin marketing to potential overseas markets and partners you should first determine if your company is even ready for the big step into international trade.
You need to evaluate your company as well as the marketplace you are stepping into. Expansion is nice and all but you also need to weigh in whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Will the profits defeat the financial leverage to market overseas?
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats. It basically breaks down the four important corners that will effectively show you the pros and cons of exporting to a specific country. It’s not the ultimate guide to determine whether you are ready but it is the perfect starting point.
Strengths and Weaknesses – your strengths will determine whether or not you can stand up against the competitors. Why would people in oversea countries buy your mobile phones if they already have a local company selling good phones as well? Your strengths will be your reasons.
Identifying your strengths will also help eradicate your weaknesses. By listing them down you’ll be able to identify the areas you need to invest in. Don’t have a Chinese website for Chinese customers? Remedy that immediately. Don’t have a strong email marketing campaign? Invest in improving that.
If your company already has a steady resume of achievements then use those as your launching point. Impress your potential market to grab their attention.
Opportunities and Threats – is the area you plan to market at a reliable corner for your business to prosper? Are the consumers within that area going to respond to your niche, your advertisements, and your promotions? How strong is the competition with domestic companies in that area of the country?
Are there opportunities to forge alliances with domestic companies? Can you form a deal and partnership with blogging communities there to advertise your business? Is no other company selling your type of product, giving you more freedom to take market control?
You also need to look at all the threats, such as threats to your profit. Have the competitors already established an iron grip on market prices? How well do the consumers respond to your competitors marketing tactics? Will legal procedures, taxes, or customs regulations imbalance your pricing strategy?
After the SWOT Analysis – Benchmarking with Competitors
This is where you compare your company and its potential with the current performance of the domestic competitors. If your company is within the area where it can stand up against the competitors and make a profit then you might want to take the risk and begin export marketing.
If not, then focus domestically and try to improve the areas you are weak in. Take time to consider another foreign market where you might be able to make a hit.