Important Points In Export Strategy

The first thing to do before you determine your export strategy is to decide what your short term and long term objectives are. Are you exporting just to meet passive orders or is overseas expansion a big part of the company’s plans? Will you export the entire product range or just a small part? Which countries will you be exporting to?


The next thing to do is to analyze what effect these objectives have on current or domestic strategy – what demands will be placed on company’s key resources, profit potential, competition, market trends…etc. Somewhere along the way, you may find the exporting is not such a great idea – just yet or something that you should have started a long time ago. This article looks at some basic things to be considered while planning an export strategy.


Overseas market potential: Before increasing capacity for production or getting export licenses, it is important to carry out an intensive study of the export potential or the buying potential of the country that you will be exporting to. This means that you should be able to estimate how much product/service you will be able to export and your earning, based on factors like economic environment, currency difference, competition, government rules and regulations among a host of factors. This is probably the first and most important step of any export strategy on which will hinge all other decisions.


Costs: The next thing to research carefully is the money involved in exporting. This includes the cost of packaging, shipping, import duties as well as any others tests or permission that you may need to get before you can set up your export business. Keep the necessary buffers especially for currency fluctuations and try and commit everything to a written contract to minimize your exposure. Only after you know your costs can you estimate your profits.


Timing: All seasons are not equal. It is always a good idea to time your export consignment with the beginning of a buying/festive season. It could be Christmas or New Year depending on which country you are planning to export to. This helps reduce the cost of storing, spoilage and theft. Not timing your venture correctly could mean a lot of dead stock on your hand which could go out of date by the time the next season arrives.

International trade statistics: It may also be a good idea to read up on the latest bilateral trade statistics as well as policy on restricted or prohibited goods. Different countries have different kinds of sensitivities to quality and it is best to be aware of what the minimum expected standards are.


Too many people rush into exports without giving due thought to what they expect out of this time consuming and expensive venture. There are a lot of fixed costs when you start an export business and it is best to have some kind of export strategy in mind well before you start.


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