Basics of exporting

Getting ready to export


Before you commit to exporting you need to honestly assess your export potential - both in terms of the readiness of your business and of your product or service.

Conducting export market research

It's essential to carry out detailed market research to identify and evaluate the target market. You should start by examining:

  • the industry structure
  • the predicted demand for your product or service
  • competition and how you plan to fit into that marketplace
  • any modifications required to make your product or service saleable

Read more about researching export markets.

The Department of International Trade can help you find overseas customers and export opportunities.

Developing an export marketing plan

After completing your market research, you can draw up an export marketing plan defining how you will enter the new market.

Consider whether you have:

  • a marketing strategy that incorporates international trade development
  • the necessary financial resources
  • the right people to develop the new export markets
  • adequate knowledge of the requirements of your chosen market - eg modifying packaging to meet local regulations and standards
  • an understanding of export payment mechanisms and export finance

Then assess whether your product is suitable for export. Consider:

  • product standards and regulations in the overseas market - the British Standards Institution offers help for exporters
  • the costs of adapting your product or service

Download our exporting marketing plan template (Doc, 162KB).