Five steps to successful exporting

There are real advantages to be had for the development of your business by exporting your products to new markets. However, certain steps need to be followed in order to ensure it is successful and rewarding in the long-term.

Our ITC service outsourcing experts bring you five steps to follow to ensure the success of your export strategy.

1. Carry out market research and adapt your product to the target market

It can be difficult to identify which market offers most opportunities. It is therefore necessary to carry out market research to find out if your product is adequately adapted to the target market. We recommend that you ask yourself the following questions during your market research:

  • Which market has the largest number of consumers of products similar to yours?
  • Is this market currently growing?
  • How big is this market?
  • What cultural factors could influence the consumption of your product?
  • What consumers are you targeting?
  • Which area of the territory will it be focused on?
  • Who are your main competitors? How do you plan to differentiate yourself from them?
  • Are there any specific technical requirements, approvals or certifications required for your product or service in the country you are targeting that do not apply in your main market?

Once your new market has been identified, it is important to look for different ways to penetrate it. This is the reason why you need to develop a business plan with achievable objectives.


2. Find out how to introduce your products into the market and how to sell them

In order to increase your chances of accessing your target market, consider working with intermediaries in the market. Depending on the market, these may be distributors or sales agents. In some cases, you will need to address your final customer directly, without going through an intermediary.

It is very common to work with sales representatives in a new market. These professionals will have a perfect knowledge of the market, as well as the appropriate network to develop their sales. However, you have to choose your partner carefully.


3. Identify the different ways to promote the product, and then choose which is most suitable for the consumers and the market.

  • Your website and social media: keep your company information updated on social media and your website. This will help you attract new customers. Let your current and future customers know that you are expanding internationally. Do not forget to highlight the contact in charge of export sales.
  • International trade fairs: these are usually a very effective way to meet buyers, market agents and make yourself known. Read more about ITC services in accompanying to international fairs.
  • A first visit: this will give you a better understanding of the market you want to approach. It is important to find out about market challenges and trends in advance. We recommend that you to bring samples with you and prepare a sales speech.

Find out about any local events organised by market players or government agencies, in order to get a better understanding of the environment you will be working in and start building your network.

In some markets, initial contact greatly facilitates future exchanges. In Germany, for example, trust can sometimes be difficult to build, so it is essential to establish initial contact through fairs or previous visits to show your presence in the market.


4. Prepare your first sales offer 

Once you have your first potential contact, you will need to prepare a sales offer, but also check which administrative documents you need to bring and find out under what conditions the products are insured.

Finalising your sales offer is a crucial step towards the success of your entry into a new market. It must reflect your seriousness and your perfect knowledge of the sector and the market. To learn more about how to make an international sales offer, click here.

It is a good idea to consult a lawyer who is specialised in international law in order to validate a written agreement with a partner in your new market. Also check your rights regarding intellectual property, responsibility and compliance of your products.

Depending on the area in which you wish to expand, certain administrative documents are required:

  • Within the European Union: although goods can circulate freely, certain documents may be required when entering certain countries. Therefore, we recommend that you find out which documents are required by the country where you wish to do business.
  • Outside the European Union: it is likely that more documents will be required, such as:
    • An invoice specifying the unit price, the number of units sold and the quantity.
    • Other documents may also be requested that provide more information about the seller and the buyer, such as a proforma invoice.
    • A document certifying that the exported products are insured.

The documents requested vary by country and sector. In the agri-food sector, for example, additional documents related to the origin and hygiene of the products may be required. Additionally, it is important to purchase insurance to offset the risks of non-payment and loss or damage of goods during transport. It is also necessary to find out about and seek advice on payment methods.


5. Achieving customer loyalty and developing sales

An initial agreement is good but not sufficient. Now is the time to build loyalty with your first clients and develop your sales.

  • Keep in touch with your clients by visiting them regularly. Take this opportunity to keep them informed about your products, the market and your progress.
  • Respect delivery times as much as possible.
  • Try to reach out to new partners, obviously only if you do not have an exclusive contract with your first client.
  • Do not stop your promotional activities: continue to keep up with trade shows, industry events and establish a good communications plan.
  • Agree on a solid long-term action plan with your current business partner. Make sure they are as dedicated to selling your products as you.
  • Take advantage of this experience to tackle new international markets.



At International Team Consulting we have developed an important know-how in multiple sectors, supporting since 1995 hundreds of Spanish, French, German, English, American, Moroccan, Italian and Portuguese industrial companies in their export processes to international markets. Contact our international trade consultancy for more information regarding our outsourcing and sales outsourcing services for industrial companies in international markets.