Getting Started in Export
Ask yourself the question, what would your business gain from accessing new markets in another country? Well, the simple answer is an opportunity to grow! These pages aim to give you the confidence and understanding to export from Jersey & start selling your products or services off-island. There are many points to consider when selling outside Jersey, however don’t be put off from looking at this as an option for growth. If you think through the process of selling or working abroad and have a sound knowledge of your target markets, you will be able to understand the resources you need to start and the potential gains you could make from selling internationally. Even if you have an established business in Jersey with a good market share, there is no reason that you can’t grow your business by selling internationally. The advantages of trading abroad can be huge, boosting your business’s profile, credibility and bottom line as well as offering you access to new customers, revenue and ideas. Perhaps most importantly, selling to more than one market can help you spread your business risk and increase the lifecycle of your products or services.
Many businesses start selling overseas as a result of an approach from a potential customer and then expand this as part of the business. This is an ideal scenario as it demonstrates early that there may be a bigger market for your product or service.
However, Jersey companies have also ventured offshore by proactively breaking into new markets with existing and new products. No matter how you start, selling off-island shouldn’t be an add-on to your existing business but rather become an integral part of your business strategy. So, before you start selling outside Jersey it is worth thinking about your overall business, look at your financial model, evaluate your export potential and think about how selling internationally will fit with your long-term vision for the business.
Review your business and ask yourself these questions to see how ready your business is to sell in another market:
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?
- Should you start selling to the UK before International markets?
Review your company’s products, services, capabilities and operations
- 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 scaleability 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?
- You can find these questions in the Export Readiness Checklist to complete off-line.
You can find this questions in our Export readiness Checklist to complete offline.
If you think exporting is for you there are a number of steps to take when setting off on your international journey and the rest of these pages will help you through them.
Once you have decided to that exporting could be beneficial for your business, you need to start developing an action plan. The best way to start is to think through the process of taking your product or service into a new market, then develop your action plan by identifying the steps you need to take and what you need to achieve.
Wherever possible allocate a timescale for your action points to help you stay focused and work efficiently. If you can, find a specific date around which you need to plan which might be an overseas conference or exhibition or a notable date in your local business calendar.
Download the export action plan to help you decide on the key actions you need to take and keep up the momentum. Remember, this is a live document that you will add to as you work through the following sections so don’t think you have to complete it all at the start.