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How to start exporting

Exporting into international markets can have huge benefits for your business – but how do you do it? Our guidance and dedicated programmes can help you get off to the perfect start.

How could exporting benefit your business?

Opening your business to international selling and new markets can hold huge benefits for your company and might even change the way you do business. Exporting offers many opportunities to:

  • Become more profitable, competitive and innovative
  • Boost your profile at home and internationally
  • Grow your business faster by accessing new revenue streams
  • Become more resilient and allow you to spread risk
  • Achieve economies of scale in production that aren't always possible at home
  • Give your products and services longer commercial life by reaching new customers

However, it's important that you manage the process and keep control of your exporting activity - and be clear from the start how exporting fits with your company's plans for growth. To do this, you need to make sure you find the right markets, at the right time, and have the right infrastructure in place to back up your plans for expanding.

Our research and training services can help you investigate these opportunities and prepare you for exporting for the first time.

3 steps to get started

  • Step 1 - Do your research

    Before you start anything, it’s important to do your research. Get to know your markets, customers, competitors and rights. Good market information allows you to make sound business decisions based on facts – it’s essential if you want to stay ahead of the game.

    We can provide market research on a range of different subjects, including competitor insight, global market intelligence, credit rating checks, industry trends and forecasts, consumer demographics and supplier databases.

  • Step 2 - Assess your capability

    To build an exporting capability, you’ll need to take a close look at your product, business and teams to make sure you can manage the changes you want to make. Is your management committed to developing the export opportunity? Do you have the necessary finance, time, expenses and skills to meet delivery?

    Our Preparing to Export programme will guide you through all the steps required to develop a thorough approach to exporting for the first time.

  • Step 3 - Create an export plan

    An export plan is a business plan for selling overseas. It should detail the decisions you’ve made based on your market research, your objectives and how you plan to achieve them.

    A well-structured plan will make sure you’ve thought about all the possibilities, chosen a logical path forward and set targets to keep you on track.

    Your export plan is a tool to show banks, investors or partners that you’re serious and have realistic and achievable goals. Keep it concise and simple.

Helpful guides and information on exporting

  • Exports and international markets

    International markets can offer huge opportunities for your business. Find the right markets and get started or expand your international sales and discover new opportunities.

  • Routes to market

    Understand the different routes into international markets and find out how our free market research service can help you choose the right option for your business.