You might first consider exporting in response to enquiries from potential customers overseas. Or you might actively decide to look for opportunities. In either case, thorough market research is essential.
You need to understand what overseas customers want, and what the competition is like. As well as local suppliers, you may be competing with other exporters from around the world.
Reaching customers in overseas markets
It's worth thinking about how you will reach your customers. It's important you consider how to plan your export market entry strategy.
You'll also want to understand all the issues that affect doing business in that country. There may be legal considerations, like product regulations, export or import licences or extra taxes that make it difficult to compete. You might be faced with a different business culture, and need to communicate in the local language.
Deciding what to offer
UK products and services often need to be modified to suit local regulations and customers' requirements. You'll also need to think about what after-sales service you need to provide and the best way of doing so.
All this adds costs - over and above the additional costs such as delivery. Many exporters find that they need to position their product as a premium brand to justify higher prices and cover all these costs.
Read more about researching and entering overseas markets.