Planning to export - checklist


Planning to export - checklistWhen planning for exporting, thoroughly research the market and potential problems and take advantage of the support and information available to you.

  • Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) or your local business support organisation to access the extensive range of advice and support they can offer.
  • Identify other sources of information (eg contacts already exporting to the market); consider visiting the country yourself.
  • Decide how much you will invest in researching and developing the new market; consider whether existing markets offer better opportunities.
  • Research the market: for example, customer requirements, competition and pricing levels; use DIT, British Embassy or high commission guidance.
  • Consider how you will reach customers and promote your product.
  • Investigate local laws and regulations: for example, tariffs, product standards, product liability laws and labelling regulations. Ensure you take advice from a specialist solicitor.
  • Plan how you will handle delivery, packaging and transportation: investigate costs, timescales and documentation requirements.
  • Explore financing options and consider payment procedures; how will you assess creditworthiness and cope with fluctuating exchange rates?
  • Consider what after-sales support you need to provide, such as spare parts, customer advice or training.
  • Assess what personnel resources you need to support your exports; identify any training requirements. Consider legal advice.
  • Choose the best sales channel: for example, selling directly (eg via the internet) or to a distributor, using an agent or working with a partner. Take legal advice.
  • Ensure that you have clear terms of trade, and procedures to handle export documentation.
  • Plan an export trial to test the market and your procedures without excessive investment.
  • Set up monitoring mechanisms; monitor the local business environment and exchange rates, as well as your export performance.