Before launching your company into the European market ask yourself is the time right to begin exporting? Do you have the resources to become an exporter?
A mistake made by many small business owners is to believe that they can start exporting without having fully developed and validated their business model in their home country. When a company has not yet worked out how it is going to operate, or it only generates a limited revenue, there is no point in considering exporting. It is important to take the needs and wants of international markets into account so conducting research is essential. Looking for European clients when you haven’t worked out what you have to offer your local market may put your business at risk.
If you are not quite ready yet but still would like to prepare, here is a list of things you can do:
1) Know your target market inside-out
Before exporting to Europe, it is important to understand your target market. Get to know the types of clients your business relates to. You are often able to close deals in a specific industry because your product or service solves problems they have encountered, or is relevant to the industry. Define that client profile and use this definition as a starting point for your exporting activities. This exercise will save you time in sourcing clients as you already understand this market and its issues. The exception is where a particular industry has a low profile in Europe. European customers will always assess you by references from clients in your local market. If you have not worked out who your target market is and which industry sector is clearly your niche, it will be costly for you to figure it out in a foreign market.
2) Use your domestic market to test your new products
It is cheaper to visit potential clients in your home market and to confirm their interest in what you do, so make the most of it! One of my clients, typically uses Australia, its home market, to launch new products, because they are close at hand to the client, and can monitor and correct any quality issue they could have. And it’s easier to get their technicians to their clients’ premises within a short period of time. Once they are confident the product is fine, then they can launch it internationally.
3) Research international markets to prepare your international market entry
Many small business owners approach me seeking my help to start exporting to Europe without having properly developed their Australian business. The advice I offer them is to provide them with an overview of what is happening in the European market within their industry. We can also gather feedback from potential future European clients. It’s great for them, because while they refine their business model, they can already use international customer feedback.
4) Build up your track record to build your credibility with your international clients
It will be easier for you to convince an overseas client to buy your product, if you can show them that others in their industry have done so. Use your domestic market to raise your profile and build your company’s credentials. If you don’t have any tangible customers and revenue to prove your business’s viability, it will be harder to convince any potential new clients. European companies will examine your company credentials and quiz you about who you are selling to. They want to know whether or not you’re a trustworthy company. Having Government contracts in your home country boosts your credibility in the eyes of your potential European customers. It demonstrates your financial stability.
5) Get ready by taking our Export Readiness Diagnostic online it’s free
Over the last 11 years, at Exportia we have worked with dozens of Australian businesses in the European market. Using our track record and our proven methodology, our online Export Readiness Diagnostic tool takes 20 minutes to complete. You then receive a fully customised report, that is tailored to your specific needs. You will know where you sit, what are the best practices and the list of actions you should implement. Even though it is built for companies who want to export to the European market, it is very beneficial for any company to take the test.
Are you ready to generate or accelerate your export sales? Take the test now!