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SME Resource

Expert international trading knowledge and experience, WITHOUT the overhead!

The Export Department provides your company with all the knowledge, expertise, and experience of an in-house export department but with significantly more flexibility and at a fraction of the cost.

We are 100% flexible and outcome-focused, it is all about what works best for you and your company. We can engage with you in whichever manner promises to deliver the greatest reward to your business; that could be managing your entire new market launch from research through to market entry; or undertaking key activities to help bolster your resource and speed things along; or simply being there for you in a mentoring capacity to help facilitate a smooth and successful project. Below you will see a list of the kind of export services we provide.

If exporting is something you are thinking about, or if you just want to learn a bit more about it, contact us for a no obligation exploratory discussion.

Mentoring

EXPORT ADVICE, SUPPORT AND MENTORING

Expanding your business overseas is a thrilling prospect with a potentially huge pay off, and it needn’t be the “big and scary” move you imagine.

Drawing on international trade and market research experience accumulated over some 20 years, we can work alongside you offering honest and constructive feedback throughout each step of your journey. We can provide fresh insight and new perspectives, whilst also sharing useful contacts and passing on invaluable knowledge and expertise.

Contact us to learn more.

Exploration

EXPORT READINESS REVIEW

Via one or a series of meetings, we conduct an Export Readiness Review to determine whether your company’s current infrastructure and portfolio can meet the requirements of international trade.

Amongst other criteria, we examine your motivations for exporting; your branding; your product readiness (versatility, differentiation, potential compliance issues); your available skills, knowledge, and resources; your existing processes; your competitiveness (domestic market performance); your capacity to fulfil overseas demand (via existing inventory, other sources, etc.); and your financial situation (ability to invest in associated upfront costs, management of cash flow, sensitivity to exchange rate fluctuations, payment systems, etc.).

Following this assessment we provide a report that serves to detail areas for improvement, list criteria that need to be addressed before you embark, and identify any potential roadblocks which may hamper your export success.

Contact us to learn more.

Strategy

EXPORT STRATEGY AND PLANNING

Which market? When? To what scale? Your expansion overseas should be given at least the same focus, time, and detailed planning as any new business venture, some would argue it warrants even more. Your exporting strategy must be well researched, detailed and realistic. Detailed analysis of your company and your intended target market is essential, as is nailing down your exporting objectives, success criteria, marketing strategy, budget, and implementation schedule. This analysis is then formalised in your Export Plan which serves as a framework and guideline for all subsequent exporting activity.

Working in conjunction with you we can lead discussions and support activity concerning which international markets to target and to what scale. We can:

  • help to assess the your available resources (human and financial) and determine additional resources required;
  • help analyse your competitive strengths and limitations;
  • help identify the target market’s barriers to entry;
  • research and ascertain essential information such as compliance issues, relevant legislation, applicable licenses and tariffs;
  • determine the degree of adaptation your product/service requires;
  • can lead and support discussions concerning the chosen route to market and promotional strategy to be adopted;
  • can help to draft an Export Plan that not only has quantifiable objectives, scenario planning, and immediate, medium and long-term actions, but is also able to withstand scrutiny from banks, financial advisers, and other sources of funding etc.
Contact us to learn more.

Research

EXPORT MARKET RESEARCH

A combination of desktop and field research provides the most reliable data on target markets for international trade. In addition to online media, we utilise local chamber of commerce contacts, several databases, trade body contacts, and overseas connections to enable us to deliver comprehensive analysis of potential markets and their suitability for your business.

We also provide insight into the most appropriate routes to market based on your company’s portfolio and infrastructure (direct, agents/distributor, franchise, etc.); and provide primary data via surveys, interviews and market visits where possible (trade shows, independent visits with/without customer meetings, and trade missions).

There are a number of free or heavily subsidised market research offerings available to SMEs, however sourcing this research and determining what is relevant to your own operation can be tricky and time consuming. The Export Department can not only signpost you to these free and/or discounted services, our background in market and customer research, positions us well to commission, consolidate, and interpret research from these sources. Importantly we can further enhance the research process by ensuring that findings are reflected in your actual export strategy and plan so as to aid informed decision making and to help govern the direction you take.

Contact us to learn more.

Mobilise

MARKET ENTRY PREPARATION

Different markets have different requirements, and attempting to export to several different countries from day one, is both unwise and costly. Tailoring your proposition to suit each individual market/region is essential if you are to guarantee you meet customer expectations. The Export Department takes time to understand your business, your proposition, and your available resources in order to help you choose which market is the best fit and can offer the greatest return.

Once you have decided upon a target market, there are several activities we can perform in conjunction with you or on your behalf in order to best prepare your business and your proposition, these include but are not limited to:

  • Market visits for the purpose of customer/competitor research or customer/distributor/agent meetings;
  • Manage the internationalisation of your online presence (website, social media etc.). We can manage the process of copy translation and imagery alterations to maximise the appeal of your online presence and brand to your target audience;
  • Advise on suitable online marketplaces and appropriate marketing strategies should you be looking to sell direct to your target market via the online channel;
  • Manage the translation and adaptation of packaging/labelling;
  • Manage the adaptation of technical and marketing collateral i.e. POS, brochures, product data sheets, etc.
  • Drawing on specialist advice, ensure that your proposition is protected in terms of Intellectual Property;
  • Create and implement a distribution strategy and structure;
  • Initiate and manage lead generation and opportunity identification in the target market;
  • If applicable, manage the sourcing of distributors and agents;
  • Generate or review customer and distributor/agent contracts;
  • Create a pricing strategy incorporating INCOTERMS and exchange rate considerations;
  • Manage the establishment of payment terms and arrangement of payment methods;
  • Manage the application for export licenses where applicable;
  • Where after-sales support is not being managed locally, establish an after-sales support process/facility;
  • Ensure your compliance with customs regulations through effective communication and instruction with parcel carriers/freight forwarders.
Contact us to learn more.

Fulfillment

DAY TO DAY EXPORT MANAGEMENT

Our personnel operate as fully integrated members of your team; depending on your set-up we can work off-site or on-site alongside you and your staff. Communication and task execution is seamless, your customers/distributors/agents need never know you are outsourcing your exporting function.

Day to day activities involved in the managing of your exporting function may include but not be limited to:

  • Implementing your export strategy and activities consistent with overall aims and requirements of your business;
  • Keeping you informed of legal and regulatory changes affecting the target market and ensuring this information is factored into your export strategy;
  • Keeping you informed of emerging customer trends and developing sales strategies to meet their needs;
  • Attending industry events, exhibitions and shows;
  • Attending customer/distributor/agent meetings in the target market;
  • Analysing new business potential and promotional opportunities;
  • Safeguarding the customer experience of overseas customers and ensuring that your existing customer base is retained and well supported;
  • Presenting export sales forecasts and updating you regularly on position changes;
  • Negotiating distribution agreements and contracts;
  • Managing, supporting, and training your distributor/agent network within the target market, including setting distributor objectives and conducting regular performance reviews;
  • Working with you and/or your marketing team and/or local marketing agencies to develop sales propositions and marketing initiatives; ensuring that that such activities are carried out within budget;
  • Quotation/proposal writing and/or review;
  • Monitoring of sales orders and invoices;
  • Liaising with you regarding product information and stock availability;
  • Creation of all relevant export documentation and insurance;
  • Liaison with parcel carriers/freight forwarders for quotations and transport arrangements.
Contact us to learn more.