Obtain qualified export counselling and develop an international marketing plan, which will clearly define goals and objectives. This can be obtained from expert staff in the International Trade Team at Business Link for London.
Secure a commitment from top management to overcome the initial difficulties and financial requirements of exporting. Although the potential problems and costs involved in exporting may seem difficult to justify in comparison with established domestic sales, the exporter should take a long-term view of this process and carefully monitor international marketing efforts.
Establish a basis for profitable operations and orderly growth. Although no overseas enquiry should be ignored, the company that acts mainly in response to unsolicited trade leads is trusting success to the element of chance.
Take great care in selecting overseas representatives. The exporter should make sure that a legally binding agency or distribution agreement is signed. Treat international representatives on an equal basis as domestic counterparts.
Do not assume that a given market technique and product will automatically be successful in all markets. What may work in the UK may fall flat in France. Equally what works well in France may not in Japan. Each market has to be treated separately and thoroughly researched.
Be willing to modify products or service offering to meet regulations or cultural preferences. Local safety and security codes as well as any import restrictions cannot be ignored.
Produce product/sales literature in the local language. It gives potential buyers a sense of commitment from the exporter.
If necessary provide readily available support or servicing for the product or service.