Export, where do I start?

Building export in 4 steps

Starting your export activities, has probably been an idea that has kept you busy for a long time. In your mind you have all your ideas worked out and they are ready to become reality, but in real life, it is a bid more complex than you probably have in your ideal mind. Based on 14 years of experience in international sales and marketing, I can tell you that my most successful results have been achieved after intensive research, by making a plan and focus.

You can do it yourself if you have time and resources, or ask an experienced professional like Export Associate to do the job for you.

It is better to do it right the first time instead of investing more time and money to repair your mistakes.

Step 1. Choose your export market300 pix world

To identify your export market, I like to use market data and statistics. You can buy market data or find them online. Compare different markets with criteria that you think are valuable for your product. Rank all items and divide 100 point over the different criteria. Giving the most important criteria the majority of the points. Now you have an initial idea of the most attractive markets and you can further investigate the top ranked countries.

Step 2. Write an export plan.

An export plan is similar to your business plan, when you started your company. You had a great idea, but writing it down improves your success rate and limits unexpected issues. Did you think about any specific insurances, registrations, power requirements, etc.?

A good export plan is your guideline for the development of your international business and should include the following subjects:


  • Company: Why is your company pursuing export markets, and is your company ready for export?
  • Market: How does the market look like, who is the competition and what is their position? How do you distribute your product and what are your expectations?
  • Price: What is your price strategy for your products?
  • Market entry: How are you going to enter the market and distribute your product?
  • Promotion: How are you going to promote your product to the customers in your market? It might need a completely different strategy compared to your home market.
  • Action plan: What, when, where and who
  • Time Schedule: Make a planning

Step 3. Find a local partner.

Are you planning to sell directly or do you use a local partner? It is not always easy to find a good, reliable local partner. You could use a consultant like Export Associate to help you, but you can also find local partners trough approximate 20 different sources. Enough choice, but like finding the best employee for the job it takes time and effort to find the best local partner to represent your product in the new market. Export Associate is a specialist in finding the best local distributor/agent. That is part of our job.

When you have found your partner, make sure to do business under contract. In some countries you can have legal obligations under the local law if you have done business without a contract. Then you could depend on the local law instead of your own contract.

Step 4. Bring your plan into action.

Ones you found your local partner, distributor, agent or sales person. You can start to bring your plan into reality. Managing distributors is a special profession and need special skills. Distributors are independent companies with their own agenda and goals. I advise you to keep a good connection and a close relation with your distributor, he is your ears and eyes in the market. if you like to exchange thoughts or need feedback on your export idea, give me a call and I am most interested to share you my view.

Do note that your plan is a guideline for building your export and it will probably change during time. Therefore keep it flexible and efficient as it will evolve together with your export business.

Export Associate EM 5
Export Associate is an Export Consultant and Business Development company. We find and build your market, for your products.

If you have any questions or like to have professional support to help you build your next export marked, feel free to contact us.

* For more information about the terms and conditions for a free markets review, call our office at +31-343809997 or contact us trough the contact us page