Which country should you export to? Which market segment of your target country will get you the best returns?
Each industry has its own unique characteristics. Even within the same industry, the conditions and ways of doing business may vary across different countries, regions and states. When you export to a new market, you will need to find ways of handling all these differences to maximise your chances of achieving long-term export success.
The success or failure of your export venture is largely determined by how well you perform your market research prior to exporting. You will need to thoroughly evaluate the pros and cons associated with various markets before the choosing the most appropriate market for your exports.
Often, sustainable export success comes down to your experience, personal network and your primary knowledge of the market. Such capabilities take time to build. You can start building your own market selection expertise by taking the first step – performing your own secondary market research before you invest further in gathering primary market data. Diligently carrying out secondary research on your markets will help you:
Identifying the market that best suits your product or service will be one of the most important internationalisation decisions that you will make. While regional markets may be easier and cheaper to enter, more distant markets may be more challenging but could yield higher returns. You will need to decide how you will strike a balance between available opportunities and chances of success.
Some factors about a market that you may wish to consider include:
You will need to consider all the possible challenges to exporting and whether you can overcome them. Some common challenges faced by exporters include:
This section serves as a basic guide and is not exhaustive. You will likely find other influencing factors or issues not mentioned in this section. Whichever your industry, if you are exporting for the first time, a good way to begin will be to concentrate your efforts on one export market before expanding into other markets. Once you gain traction and confidence in exporting to one market, you will be better placed to build up your market selection capabilities for another market. Please refer to other steps of this guide for more tips and information to help you kick start your export journey.