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First steps to exporting

Ten essential steps for businesses new to exporting.

  1. Review your export potential:
    Consider the realities of exporting and the implications for all aspects of your business. Be aware of any assistance you may need.
  2. Develop an action plan:
    You’ll need clear and focused objectives, together with a plan for the exporting process. Make sure you attach realistic timescales to this.
  3. Research and prepare to visit the market:
    This is essential to reduce risk and improve the chance of success. It usually involves desk and field research.
  4. Explore routes to market entry:
    Choosing a sales presence in an overseas market can be complex, with the suitability of varying options dependant on your company and offer.
  5. Find out about marketing your services overseas:
    You will need to adapt your approach to local conditions.
  6. Be fully aware of cultural and linguistic challenges.
  7. Prepare to manage finance, payment and risk:
    This is an important part of exporting and could include non-payment, insolvency, Government or law change, war, change in exchange rate, high inflation, amongst others.
  8. Prepare to protect your intellectual property:
    This can be the difference between commercial success and failure. Read more.
  9. Prepare for delivery and get your documentation right:
    Be familiar at an early stage with legal requirements and trading terms, as consequences in this area can be high.
  10. Choose a distribution method:
    Selling over long distances has implications including cost. Make sure you have taken these into account.

Working internationally

exportThinking of exporting your design services overseas? Or already exporting but looking for new market information or strategy advice?

To make it easier for you to navigate the wealth of information available to exporters, we’ve pulled together the key details and advice relevant to the design industry and included signposting to further information and contacts.

What’s included?

1. Should designers export?

3. Developing an export strategy

4. Leveraging reputation

5. Culture and language


6. Payment essentials
7. Exporting support and contacts
8. Design business case studies and guidance
9. Country guides and contact details

Image credits: © Prasit Rodphan | © Stocksnapper Dreamstime.com