Import and Export Assistance
To begin the planning process of how to export your product, ask yourself these questions to assess your company's readiness:
- What does the company want to gain from exporting?
- Is exporting consistent with other company goals?
- What demands will exporting place on the company's key resources, management and personnel, production capacity, and finance and how will these demands be met?
- Are the expected benefits worth the costs, or would company resources be better used for developing new domestic business?
Exporting takes time, planning, focus, knowing your strengths, and self-reflection. The most common missteps made by novice global marketers are the failure to develop a master international plan, and insufficient commitment from top management that continues as the plan is implemented.
A good exporting plan should address the following ten questions:
- Which products are selected for export development? What modifications, if any, must be made to adapt them for overseas markets?
- Which countries are targeted for sales development?
- In each country, what is the basic customer profile? What marketing and distribution channels should be used to reach customers?
- What special challenges pertain to each market (competition, cultural differences, import controls, etc.), and what strategy will be used to address them?
- How will the product's export sale price be determined?
- What specific operational steps must be taken and when?
- What will be the time frame for implementing each element of the plan?
- What personnel and company resources will be dedicated to exporting?
- What will be the cost in time and money for each element?
- How will results be evaluated and used to modify the plan?
Importing and outsourcing also need to be well planned and the same questions can be applied.