Export strategy checklist

The United Kingdom and Europe (EU) are sophisticated markets, so preparation is key.

We recommend that you develop an export plan to ensure you have given appropriate consideration, planning and resourcing to meet your export growth aspirations.

As a guide, some key questions you should consider are:

1.Am I producing sufficient volumes for new international orders
2. Do I need to tailor my product for the UK and EU market? 

Consider labeling, safety mechanisms (check compliance regulations in the market) and packaging design.

3. Which market am I targeting, and why? 

The UK and EU is not a homogenous region, it’s regions within regions.  It’s critical to undertake market research on demographics, barriers to entry, product demand and competition.

4. Is there ‘buy-in’ from management in your business?

5. Do you have a dedicated export budget?
Export deals don’t necessarily happen overnight, so be prepared to travel multiple times to the market.  The budget should factor in flights, accommodation, trade show costs (where relevant), hospitality, marketing material and websites.  Our trade and investment directors can provide advice on funding support to cover some of these costs. Also consider how you will manage the cashflow for potential large orders (the time between your business outlaying costs and when you receive payment)

6. What is my market entry strategy? 

This can be multiple activities including trade shows, engaging a third party consultant, e-commerce platforms, simply using distributors and/or approaching buyers directly.

7. Is my website UK and EU ready? 

Consider language translations where relevant, style and design for the relevant markets and e-commerce platforms if you have chosen a digital market entry strategy.  Simple details such as international dialling codes and up-to-date hyperlinks should not be underestimated.

8. What is my pricing strategy? 

Consider tariffs, taxes and freight costs as well as your contractual terms before you meet buyers and distributors.  Having this information available can strongly influence the negotiation process.  Also factor in foreign currency fluctuations and consider competitor pricing.

9. Staff resourcing – who is going to do what, where and when? 

Many business don’t have a dedicated Export Manager in their structure.  Consider training and support for staff taking on this function.

10. What is my action plan? 

Having a plan will help you set milestones, achieve staff buy-in and establish accountability.

Gemma Kilby
Trade and Communications Manager
+44 (0) 20 7520 9107