Getting it right – The 10 steps to successful exporting

Whatever you need, Suffolk Chamber is here to help you grow internationally.

Step 1: Research your market – What does an attractive market look like for your company? How have you selected the target markets? Have you considered, language, culture, pricing, competition, legislation, sales channels, service? In short do you understand where your company fits in the target market. Don’t be daunted, help is at hand.

The Global Business Network can assist you with all your market intelligence requests, and offer advice on areas you may wish to research. In alternative markets, UK Trade & Investment will be able to assist you.

UK Trade & Investment also offer eligible companies the opportunity to research potential export markets with their Export Market Research Scheme. This service offers eligible companies the opportunity to obtain match funding to conduct desktop or overseas market research. There are also experienced private sector companies that can help you understand your target markets.

It is also wise to consider any potential risks individual markets or regions may offer you.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a dedicated Overseas Business Risk site that is freely accessible. Each market has a report that outlines the political, economic, human rights, bribery, terrorism, criminal activity, and intellectual property risks. These are updated when required.

Control Risks offers services around Security and Operational Risks, Political Risks, Kidnap Risks, Maritime Risks, and Cyber Risks. Unlike the FCO reports, Control Risks also offer advice, services, and training to mitigate these risks.

Services such as Experian can be used to obtain overseas company information using their Business Express service. Sample reports can be found at The International Company Report.

Kompass offers limited overseas business information free of charge. This may be useful to some companies when used in conjunction with additional services. They also offer a subscription to the database for a fee.

 

Step 2: Implement an export strategy

To get the most out of exporting it is important to have a proactive strategy.

Suffolk Chamber can offer you introductions to partner organisations such as the New Anglia Growth Hub, UK Trade & Investment and private sector specialists who will be able to assist you in creating and implementing an export strategy. It also worth approaching your bank about this.

You may find members from the International Trade Suppliers Directory could also be of some assistance.

 

Step 3: Construct an export plan

Define how you will enter the foreign market. Finalise human resources and consider a bespoke sales and marketing strategy for each market. Allocate an adequate budget to cover export start-up costs.

Suffolk Chamber can offer you introductions to partner organisations such as the New Anglia Growth Hub, UK Trade & Investment, UK Export Finance and private sector specialists who will be able to assist you.

Our International Trade Suppliers Directory could also be of some assistance with legal, accountancy, and financial services.

Should you or your staff require any additional training, we offer an accredited suite of international trade courses.

 

Step 4: Decide a route to market

What works in the UK may not work in your export markets. What works in one export market may not be appropriate in another. Carefully consider the most appropriate sales channel for each market you target.

The Global Business Network can offer advice on the most beneficial routes to market, and source contacts on your behalf. We can also connect you with UKTI or other private sector specialists who can implement this work for you.

Our accredited Agents and Distributor course will also assist in deciding upon your route to market, and how to handle relations with any engaged agent or distributor.

 

Step 5: Promote your product

Understanding the culture and etiquette of your export markets is vital. Customise your marketing to suit the target country.

For advice and support on how to market your product or service overseas, and whether you need to be aware of any regulations or licensing you may require The Global Business Network is a great resource. We can also put you in touch with government funded and private sector organisations to help.

Suffolk Chamber offers a translation service that will enable you to localise marketing materials, websites, business cards and other documents required for your overseas activities.

UK Trade & Investment offer a Business Language & Culture workshop that could also be useful.

 

Step 6: Getting your goods to market

Do you know what documentation you may require for individual markets? Being prepared will save you time and money in customs clearance procedures. Understanding INCOTERMS® implications will also really help.

Suffolk Chamber offer a comprehensive suite of export documentation services, and our documentation team can also offer advice and assistance to help you navigate what is required.

We also offer a very valuable and accredited Export Documentation course.

The International Trade Suppliers Directory could also be of some assistance with Logistic, Legal, Accountancy, and Insurance services.

 

Step 7: Getting paid

Take into account the extended cash flow cycle in relation to international trade. Extended shipping times have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to mitigate this issue. You also need to consider the security or risk of the payment methods offered to your export customers.

Suffolk Chamber works in partnership with a number of organisations that can offer advice and services to safeguard you against the risks of getting paid.

UK Export Finance help UK exporters by providing insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance. In addition, they can make loans to overseas buyers of goods and services from the UK.

URICA an early payment debt free cash flow solution for SMEs funded by The British Business Bank and RSA, allowing suppliers and their customers to trade on better terms.

Letters of Credit are often used in international transactions to ensure that payment will be received. Suffolk Chamber offers this service on behalf of Suffolk companies.

Companies will have the opportunity to take advantage of the national Chamber Credit Insurance that Euler Hermes offers exclusively to Chamber members.

MoneyCorp offer Foreign Exchange planning and discounted foreign exchange services for chamber members.

The International Trade Suppliers Directory could also be of some assistance with Financial and Insurance services.

Suffolk Chamber also offers an accredited Methods of Payment course which would be beneficial should you need assistance.

 

Step 8: Distribution Methods  

Consider the implications of selling over long distances and across national frontiers.

Whether you are selling direct to consumers online overseas or B2B across the globe consider the most efficient and economical way of providing local service to your customer. This may involve a regional warehouse, a distribution hub, a fulfilment centre or a bonded warehouse.

The International Trade Suppliers Directory has a number of companies offering distribution and logistical services. They should be able to assist you and offer advice on the best transportation methods, and whether to engage with one or several companies for transportation. 

The Global Business Network can offer advice on the most appropriate methods of distribution for your products, and source contacts on your behalf.

Methods of transport, selecting and using freight forwarders, and distribution analysis are all covered in the accredited Understanding Export course offered by Suffolk Chamber.

 

Step 9: Transport of goods

Assess and choose the most effective transport method and make sure the goods are insured by you or the importer. It is important to understand the INCOTERMS® you have sold under and how this impacts your responsibilities.

The International Trade Suppliers Directory has a number of companies offering distribution and logistical services. They should be able to assist you and offer advice on the best transportation methods for their region.

The Global Business Network can offer advice on the most appropriate methods of transportation for your products, and source contacts on your behalf.

Methods of transport, selecting and using freight forwarders, and distribution analysis are all covered in the accredited Understanding Export course offered by Suffolk Chamber. The Export Documentation course would also be useful in this instance.

 

Step 10: After sales

Regularly liaise with customers, distributors, and agents. Visit the market and use after sales support to drive further business.

Our accredited Agents and Distributor course will give an overview of how to manage relations with any engaged agent or distributor.

Should there be any issue, the Global Business Network may be able to offer advice or source alternative contacts on your behalf, as can UKTI and other private sector specialists.

Please contact international@suffolkchamber.co.uk for further information, introductions, or to discuss how we can assist you.