Guide

Are you ready to trade outside Northern Ireland?

How can I start trading outside Northern Ireland?

While you may be thriving in the home market, bear in mind that you will need different skills within your business to successfully trade outside Northern Ireland:

  • Can you objectively analyse your own business and its strengths and weaknesses? Before you start, research your intended markets and analyse where the gaps are in your business.
  • Do you speak any languages? If you can speak to and understand your customers in their native tongue, it may prevent problems and misunderstandings.
  • How strong are your logistics and management? If you start trading overseas, the longer delivery distance will highlight any weaknesses in these systems..
  • Have you got a management team in place who can run the home market successfully while you devote time to building an international business? Or is there someone else in your business who is better suited to the overseas development?

Support for exporting

There are many sources of advice and support available. Invest Northern Ireland runs a number of programmes to support businesses who are thinking of trading outside Northern Ireland.

Resources and support are available for market research and while it may be tempting to carry out a market visit straightaway, it may be a good idea to contact Invest Northern Ireland first.

Help is available to businesses who want to sell their goods or services outside Northern Ireland. Services include:

  • an assessment of your readiness for trading outside Northern Ireland
  • help with fact-finding visits
  • trade show research in your target market
  • practical support from businesses that are already trading outside Northern Ireland

Read more about the support available for exporting.