Fundamentals of Exporting - Organising for exports and identifying opportunities

Tuesday 19 February, 2019 | By: Ella Schalch

Conducting extensive research is mandatory to ensure that your company is in the best possible position to launch and succeed within your chosen overseas market. Research provides you with invaluable insight into your business’ strengths and weaknesses. It will also allow you to identify key opportunities within your target market to ensure that your business is as organised as possible to export effectively.

Preliminary external research

There are multiple steps that you’ll need to cover when conducting your preliminary external research to ensure that your information is reliable and that you have accurately prepared all relevant collateral and product samples.

Some of the areas you’ll need to cover whilst conducting your research include:

• Evaluating the current export markets as well as reviewing potential target markets
• Review the current political, economic, social and competitive environments
• Understanding the relevant local laws and regulations
• Ensuring that you have adequate labeling and packaging processes in place
• Obtaining all relevant licenses and quotas needed to import successfully
• Understanding the rules of origin requirements for all required Certificates of Origin
• Ensuring that you are aware of any potential issues with your export logistics
• Understanding all tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade that may affect your exporting capabilities. Examples of these include seasonal import regimes, state subsidies and complex regulatory environmental factors that can change without warning.

Creating a ‘what you need to know’ list is an efficient way to conduct your preliminary market research. Finding reliable sources is a great starting point. You may choose to use Austrade, Chambers of Commerce and other government and non-government entities to complete this list and to answer any questions that you may have. CCIQ International Trade Advisors can also assist with additional queries.

Market Research

You will need to ensure that you have conducted sufficient market research to ensure that you accurately identify key trends throughout previous years and to assist you with matching your businesses strengths to your target market. By analysing your customers key purchase trends within Australia, you can map and forecast potential patterns that may be transferable to overseas markets. By analysing trends within your industry as well as your business, this will assist you in accurately identifying markets overseas that will give your business the best possible opportunity to successfully export.

Export Market Attractiveness Assessment Criteria

To accurately determine your market attractiveness assessment criteria, you can use the below criteria:

• Market characteristics
• Competitive conditions
• Financial & economic conditions
• Legislative & socio-political conditions

It must be noted that you should modify the above criteria to reflect what is specific to your product or service and what is applicable to the region/s that you’re exporting to. By collating statistics for each above topic, you’ll be able to look back at previous years to identify trends within your target markets, match the information to your strengths and rank your position within each market. Referencing sites such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade FTA Portal may assist you with identifying your business strengths and weaknesses, as well as outlining your eligibility for free trade agreement benefits.

Market Exploratory visits

Market exploratory visits are essential in ensuring that you have accurately identified opportunities and are organised for your exporting venture. Market visits are a fantastic way to further understand the customs and culture of the country that you are exporting to. Your market visits will need to be very thorough, as this will form the basis for you to successfully export overseas. Your visits should include:

• Where you will be planning your trip overseas
• Visiting the market
• Organising your marketing material including your business cards (ensure these are translated into the local language if required!)
• Ensuring that you have an adequate amount of product samples to provide
• Securing gifts to give to potential business partners or affiliates (where appropriate)
• Conduct market research study questions
• Survey your potential target market to gauge an insight into the trends within the market
• Any other additional requirements to obtain the maximum outcome from your visit

Some practical advice whilst you’re overseas is to try not to sell on your first visit! The aim for your first visit should be to explore the potential target market and to build key relationships within this area.

Pro Tip: While you are overseas, ensure that you keep all of your expense records as you may be able to claim these under the EMDG grant at a later date

If you are finding it difficult to conduct your own market research, you may want to consider involving the services of an experienced international trade consultant to discover the target markets that may be of interest to your business.

CCIQ International Trade Advisors are able to assist you with all aspects of your export capability assessment. Click here to learn more about how we can assist you.

 For further information on how to organise and identify for exports, we are holding a free webinar on Thursday 7th March at 12pm. Click here to register.

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