Export Market Development - Develop Your Export Strategy
Developing business in overseas markets can be a significantly rewarding exercise -
particularly for medium and small businesses. For most businesses the size of overseas
markets is staggering in comparison to the total market size of domestic markets.
The following are just some of the benefits of exporting:
- Access to much larger markets-securing a very small share can be significant
for an Australian based SMB. Depending upon your export strategy you may
have access to overseas capital to fund your business growth.
- For manufactured goods, in addition to the benefits of greater volume
exporting to the ‘other’ hemisphere can greatly assist to smooth out
the normal peaks and troughs of supplying the domestic market.
- There maybe ‘residual markets’ overseas for products and services
that are in decline in the domestic market.
- The mere process of overcoming the numerous hurdles of exporting can
sharpen your commercial acumen and improve your business’ sustainability.
Maximise exporting benefits
Your domestic business operations can also derive significant benefit from developing overseas
markets as follows: Exposing your products/services to overseas competition forces you to compare
your product offering and in so doing you may enhance your product or service to be more competitive.
This can assist your competitive edge in your domestic market by either increasing market-share or
improving margin-or in preventing overseas competitors competing in your market.
As your product may need to be enhanced to market overseas-so may your marketing message and
materials. Is the value proposition you offer your customers really crisp, clear and differentiating?
Different markets require information presented in different ways (in addition to using new languages).
The information gained this way can provide a rich stream of innovative introductions into your
To successfully access export markets may require changes to internal systems and
processes-all of which can/should be used to enhance service delivery in the domestic market.
Are you export ready?
Notwithstanding the attractions outlined above - developing overseas markets is not for the fainthearted; penetrating new markets with different languages, cultures and currencies requires time, skills, concerted effort and cash (working capital). If done incorrectly chasing export markets can potentially negatively impact your domestic business.
The first step is to evaluate your readiness for export. To address this question you must answer the questions: Do we have or can get access to appropriate skills? Do we have the capacity now (product or service delivery) to service export markets? Is that capacity scalable, what are the limitations? Will developing export markets draw resources-skills, money, capacity needed for domestic operations?
Typically expanding into export markets requires bringing additional skills into the business and this can be achieved through training-hiring qualified staff or outsourcing support
Typically export markets involve a longer payment cycle and a reduced margin plus volumes can be significant. Can your business fund this additional working capital or can it source the appropriate funds? Have you researched target markets in depth and been able to identify how the value proposition of your product or service differs from local and other international competition?
If you are able to answer these questions positively then building your Export Marketing Plan is the next step.