Fundamentals of Exporting - Product & company export capability assessment

Monday 7 January, 2019 | By: Ella Schalch

Entering the overseas market with your product or service is an exciting time for any business, providing you with the opportunity to make additional profits, increase the market size of your business and expand your customer network. Other reasons you may be looking to export could include:

• Enhance competitiveness
• Reduce seasonal fluctuations
• Improve your ROI
• Growth and long-term expansion

Prior to entering the overseas market, there are multiple steps that you must take to ensure a smooth transition overseas. Step one is to ensure that you have conducted a product & company export capability assessment.

Product and company export capability assessment

Not all products/services can be exported in their current form. It is imperative that you determine and understand if your company is in fact capable of exporting this overseas. The most efficient way to do this is by conducting an export capability assessment of your business. This will allow you to outline any weaknesses and strengths within your organisational structure that may prevent the successful exporting of your product, as well as ensuring that your business has the sufficient funds required to export. Contact CCIQ International if you require help conducting your export capability assessment.

Is my company capable of exporting?

To be able to determine whether your company is capable of exporting, you will also need to evaluate your organisational structure to ensure that it is able to handle all aspects of exporting and to plan ahead for any potential issues whilst expanding overseas. When analysing your business structure, you will need to consider factors such as:

• The number of skilled employees you have
• Your available funds and how quickly you’re able to access if necessary,
• The quality and capability of your technology
• The quality of your production facilities
• The level of commitment to exporting from your top-level management.

Questions you will need to ask yourself when analysing your business include:

1. What are your vision or goals for your company, and where do you want to be in a particular period of time?
2. What is your profits goal, and does your business have the ability to expand quickly to meet a sudden increase in demand?
3. Can your current organisational structure accommodate export operations, and are you prepared to make necessary changes when required?
4. Are you prepared to increase production capacity if required, and do you have the ability to do so?
5. Do you have dedicated and experienced employees, and do you have the capacity to quickly hire and train additional staff members to meet an increase in demand?
6. Do you have a 100% commitment to export from your top-level management, and can you foresee any issues that may affect your exporting capabilities if you don’t?

A vital element of your exporting success is that you have a thorough understanding of your businesses capabilities and are aware of any potential issues within your organisational structure that may affect your ability to export. Understanding these issues prior to exporting will allow you to adjust the structure of your business if needed to allow for a smooth transition overseas.

Is my product exportable?

Once you have identified that your business is capable of exporting, you’ll need to determine that the product or service that you are wanting to export overseas is actually exportable. The easiest way to identify this is by answering the below questions:

1. What products or services are you offering?
2. What is your ability to adapt your product or service if required?
3. Are your products or services capable of being marketed overseas, and how?
4. Is your product unique and will that uniqueness transfer to other markets?
5. Why are your existing customers purchasing your product within Australia?

By analysing the above, you’ll be able to identify your businesses strengths and identify any weaknesses that could potentially affect your ability to export. This will also provide you with the opportunity to adjust the services or products that you are wanting to export to ensure that you are in the best possible position to export successfully.

Strengths and weaknesses

When conducting your export capability assessment, you will have a clear understanding of your businesses strengths and weaknesses. It is essential that you are able to clearly identify your strengths to support your exporting journey, however you do need to address any weaknesses that you have identified within your organisational structure. 

If you are finding it difficult to make your own assessments, you may want to consider involving the series of an experienced international trade consultant to discover the areas requiring your attention. CCIQ International Trade Advisors are able to assist you with all aspects of your export capability assessment.

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