Get your ducks in a row in your local market before even attempting export. Exporting is immensely more complicated than accessing the local market and is often not more profitable.
Focusing on primary market research before attempting to access a market becomes crucial in determining whether the opportunity has long-term sales viability that will be able to recoup the initial start-up expenses involved in gaining access to the market.
Patrick’s Top Tips:
- Attend shows as a visitor before actually exhibiting. Check competitors displays, talk to people in the industry and gather as much knowledge as possible on things like pricing
- Understand the freight side of things, HS codes and INCOTERMS 2010 and cost these correctly to your products
- Be honest with your customers at all times. If you can’t deliver or have any problems you need to communicate these with them. Don’t keep quiet – they will not trust you in future and it places South African industries in a bad light in general.
- Understand the implications of currency changes and quoting correctly
- Be realistic about your production capacity
- You don’t always charge a higher price for export and once you have added freight costs, duties, taxes you need to look at whether your product is still viable in the market business resources