There is no magic formula to determine whether you are ready to start selling overseas, however, if you consider the following questions and apply them honestly to your own business situation then you will get a better idea of whether you are prepared for the international marketplace or whether you need to find more time and resources before committing to export.
Review your business objectives
- Is selling outside Jersey consistent with your long terms goals and objectives?
- Will you and your senior executives be fully committed to developing sales outside of Jersey? It can’t be seen as a quick way of countering a slump in local sales.
- What experience do you have of selling outside Jersey?
- Does selling outside Jersey alter the essence of your business in any way?
Review your company in terms of products, services, capability and business functions
- Do you know which products or services you would like to offer to an international market?
- Are you able to identify the unique features and qualities of your products and services that will enable you to sell them into overseas markets?
- Can your products or services be modified to suit different market requirements if necessary?
- Does your business have a proven track record and a strong marketing presence which will give you credibility in new markets?
- Do you have surplus capacity or the flexibility to expand production quickly when you get export orders or the staff to offer your services internationally?
- Do you have sufficient financial strength and resources to develop overseas markets?
- Do you, or someone else, have the time, energy and desire to travel, meet new people and open up new markets?
- If you have an existing business, does it have the people and resources to keep going while you grow the business outside Jersey?
Outline a ‘Statement of Intent’ for your off-island sales
- What role do you expect new markets to play?
- Are you seeking an increase in profit?
- Are you seeking an increase in sales volume?
- Would you like to develop a broader customer base?
- Would you like to learn more from overseas companies to become more competitive in your domestic market?
- Would you like to make use of excess production capacity?
- Do you want to reduce your dependence on the local market?
- What return on investment are you seeking to gain from your off-island activities?
- When do you expect your off-island operations to become self-sustaining?
- Will new markets fill the seasonality of your local business?