*Disclaimer: This post was originally from export.gov. Website: https://www.export.gov/article?id=Market-Entry-Strategy&utm_source=Govdelivery&utm_campaign=Exporting_Basics&utm_term=5
Plan Your International Market Entry Strategy
Beginning to export your US products and services to foreign markets can be a challenge. Fortunately, the U.S. Commercial Service offers the following videos to help your small business become better equipped to enter the exciting exporting world. After creating your export business plan, it is time to develop a market entry strategy, and the first step involves conducting some international market research.
Researching the Global Marketplace
US export market research is essential to your company’s success, but narrowing your research to a few markets can be tricky. Take a look at specific countries where you may have had inquiries, and select an initial few to do more intensive research on. Watch the fourth video in the Exporting Basics video series to learn more about beginning to research the global marketplace.
How to Narrow Your Export Markets
Once you’ve done your research, how do you decide which international markets to target first? There are many preparations you can take to help reach your decision, including:
- Research similar products existing in those markets. If they sell well, then an opportunity will most likely lie in that market.
- Consider how you will communicate with buyers. If they don’t speak English, you will need a translator, or a distributor that can close the language gap between your product and the consumer.
- What taxes and legal fees are there? Look at the country’s taxes to see if there are some that may be less costly than others, and don’t forget to consider the cost of hiring a lawyer.
- Look into shipping costs and geographic accessibility. Weigh the pros and cons of the locations of each market you are interested in exporting to and try to go with more accessible locations to start.
Watch Export.Gov’s video Select Initial Markets, the fifth video in the Exporting Basics video series, to learn more about choosing which international market is right for your business.
U.S. Export Regulations and Export Licensing
One of the first questions all exporters need to answer is, “Can I export my products?” To answer this, you need to become familiar with U.S. export control laws and regulations. Consider the following factors to help you get started:
- What are you exporting?
- Who will be receiving your exports?
- Where they are located?
The two main agencies that regulate U.S. exports are the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the U.S. State Department. You can visit their websites to learn in more detail what regulations may affect the product or service you want to export. Watch the video, Can I Export My Product for more information about obtaining the proper export licenses.
Don’t Forget about Foreign Import Regulations
U.S. exporters must also oblige by the importing regulations of the foreign countries they plan to export to. Almost all products exported from the U.S. will require some sort of registration, testing, labeling, or licensing prior to releasing for shipment overseas due to foreign importing regulations. But don’t worry, exporting to foreign markets isn’t as intimidating as it seems. Just make sure you do your research and are prepared for obstacles that may cross your path. Watch Foreign Import Regulations to help you prepare your products for export.
Get Export Counseling!
Beginning to export is a long, time-consuming, and oftentimes confusing process. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. The U.S. Commercial Service is a great resource for small businesses to get personalized resources and help on their exporting journey. With over 100 offices scattered across the country, the Commercial Service is one of the best exporting resources available to U.S. businesses. Your local trade specialist can offer you US export market research, help you acquire proper export licenses, and assist you through every step of the US export process. When you have help finding the best foreign export markets, it can open the door to great opportunities! Watch Export Counseling for more information on helpful exporting resources.
One of the greatest challenges to exporting globally is figuring out who to ask for help. Contact your local trade specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service office near you for help planning your market entry strategy. Contact your local trade specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service Office near you for tips and advice on planning your market entry strategy.