Do I think my company is in a position to accept the challenges presented by exporting? How can I find out? What risks will I run when exporting? What risks does not exporting involve? Where do I start? Which countries? Why export if there’s so much of the domestic market still virgin?
Whether or not you have asked yourself these questions at one time or another, I’ll try and shed a little light on the issue. Obviously, I am coming from the opinion that not only can any firm open up overseas market, but that that, if they have not yet done so, the sooner the better.
The fact is that those companies that were exporting before the crisis hit us are those that have best weathered the storm. The reasons are obvious; sales are diversified over several markets and countries. The swings in one are offset by the roundabouts in others.
Any company that adventures abroad must compete in a very professional market; one in which you must convey your values and principles to your clients. This encourages, even obliges, the companies to improve processes, productivity, quality, competencies, etc. and, thus to strengthen the whole organisation by acquiring what one could call an export culture. By the same token, companies become aware of what is really going on in the market, they’ll be abreast of new developments, the latest in technological innovation. This will afford them a far more realistic awareness of the place the company and its products in the market and, specifically, how they measure up to the competition and the where they stand with their customers.
Very often when asked why they are not exporting, companies will answer along the lines of: “we still haven’t covered the whole domestic market, why should we complicate our lives by exporting?” I respect this opinion but cannot share it. Nowadays, customers are not a uniform mass of persons all living in the same place. They have gravitated into larger or smaller clusters of consumers or users which have united around a set of common specifications which are spread all over the planet. Unless you understand this phenomenon, you will be seriously limiting the development of you firm. The time has come to stop classifying your markets geographically to one that is centred around: who are my clients and where are they?
Is exporting complicated) My answer would be….. Are you having difficulty running your company with sales based solely on the domestic market? Is it responsible to run this risk? Obviously, exporting presents a challenge, but so is competing in the limited domestic market that pens you in and one which will never reach previous heights. Once “the crisis is over” things are not going to be the same again. Many seem to believe that, as the market recovers, their problems will be over, what they don’t realise is that the market they knew is a thing of the past and isn’t making a comeback.
It’s hard to charge and evolve, but even harder is running the risk of having to close.
See you soon and may your sales be strong!
Consultant in sales and marketing strategies.