Overcoming challenges of exporting

Exporting may be a challenge, but the potential rewards are huge.

Below are some of the most commonly cited hurdles to doing business internationally, and some advice on how to overcome them.

1. Resource costs

Entering an overseas market may require both financial investment and an increase in manpower. Time-scales can also be an issue, with short-term ‘pay back’ not necessarily guaranteed.

It’s advisable to discuss your financial position with your accountant and bank manager before committing to exporting. It is also important to take the long-term view and build appropriate time-scales into your projections.

Customers and partners in high-growth markets, for example, tend to put an essential value on relationships and it is unusual for a return on investment to emerge within the first year.

2. Legal, regulatory and intellectual property issues

The barriers to success which exporters talk about most are legal and regulatory issues. Some firms also say that intellectual property (IP) protection can be an issue. Adopting the right mindset is vital to overcoming such hurdles.

Every country has its own trading, taxation and IP systems and you will need to be willing to get to grips with those systems and adapt to them. So doing your homework is vital when planning market entry.

3. Managing overseas risk

Political and economic developments, cyber risks, bribery and corruption – these are some of the issues your business could face when you begin to trade overseas or expand into fresh markets.

4. Market information

Finding information on foreign markets is unquestionably more difficult and time-consuming than finding information and analysing domestic markets. In less developed countries, for example, reliable information on business practices, market characteristics, cultural barriers may be unavailable. Having said that, Celsium works with a couple of organisations that could assist you with market entry research.

If you would like to discuss how we can support your organisation to expand overseas, please contact us here or speak to Shelley or Stuart on +44 (0)121 214 6204.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK