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hat's involved in exporting?
A: Understanding and preparing for exports 1. Considering exporting? - If you are considering exporting, you should get yourself up to speed by understanding why you want to export, what the difference is between domestic marketing and export marketing, what the various environments are that you will encounter in international trade and the trade barriers you mayface in the international marketplace. 2. Current business viability - If you are not managing to survive in your current business, then don't consider exporting. 3. Export readiness- Besides for having an existing base (i.e. a viable business) to build on, there are several other factors that contribute to your readiness to export. 4. Set a broad export mission statement and initialresearch budget for your firm - If you're ready to export, then you need to set a broad statement indicating that intention to export (which you may revise later), and you will also identify a small budget that will allow you to do the research and preparation necessary to plan and implement an export strategy. 5. Confirm management's commitment to exports - probably one of the main reasons why firmsfail with their export endeavours is because management only pay lip service to the firms' export efforts. This is not enough! Get management to commit on paper to the firm's exports efforts and have them approve the budget you submitted for your export research (see step 4).B: Researching and segmenting export markets 1. Undertaking an initial export SWOT analysis of the firm - as it isimportant to understand what the export capabilities of the firm are, as this knowledge is used as an input to the export marketing research process (see the next step), it is necessary at this point in the export process to undertake an export SWOT analysis. But as you do not yet have the foreign market information at your disposal, this SWOT analysis will need to be reviewed again later in the exportprocess as an introduction to the export plan. 2. Selecting and researching potential countries/markets abroad - It is a fact; you cannot export to all the countries in the world. Indeed, even established companies can only concentrate on two or three countries at most (and usually only those that are close to each other either geographically, culturally or in terms of language or some otherfactor). Smaller companies will barely be able to cope with one additional country (over and above the domestic market). The question is which country? At this point in the export process your firm must evaluate the many potential countries open to you and narrow the list down to no more than three to five countries with the greatest potential to look at more closely (a shortlist of countries). Onceyou established a shortlist of countries, the next step is to do some desk research and in-market research to identify the most suitable country (or perhaps two countries) from your shortlist. In the case of large countries such as the US, Germany, the UK, etc., you may also want to segment the country into more accessible segments (such as males under 30, or households with an income of $50 000 ormore per annum) that you can focus your marketing efforts on. The purpose of this research will be to understand the foreign environment you intend to enter and to identify potential foreign customers and their needs so that you can plan an export marketing strategy that will meet your potential customers' needs. | |
Notwithstanding all the benefits of exporting, it remains acomplicated process that is fraught with risks. It is not a question of simply becoming an exporter from one day to the next. There are many steps involved in becoming an exporter and each of these steps may have several sub components

C: Compiling an export plan
1. Preparing your export plan- This is one of the most important steps in the export process and will incorporate a situational...
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