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This is part 12 in a series of 12 step-by-step guide to help you succeed in today's global export market.


Expanding into New Markets

Once you are exporting, you need to look beyond your present operations and prepare for success, which often requires expansion into new markets.

The Need to Expand

You need to start thinking of expansion if:

    a) your existing clients are delighted with the technical aspects of your services;
    b) your existing clients feel you serve them diligently and competently;
    c) your existing clients are happy to recommend you to their friends or colleagues;
    d) you are meeting all your contractual obligations, maintaining your professional or technical excellence, and managing your company or division successfully; and
    e) you have or can develop additional capacity.

You may expand by:

    a) providing additional services
    b) embarking on new strategies
    c) entering new geographic regions

Providing Additional Services

The motivations and opportunity to provide new services can arise through your clients, your staff, colleagues, and subcontractors, or because of new technologies.

If your clients ask you to provide additional services ask yourself if:

    a) you can meet their requests without jeopardizing your core competency and services;
    b) whether or not you should refer the enquiry to another local company which would appreciate the lead, work well with the client, and, perhaps, direct business to you in future; and
    c) this could be a good opportunity to establish a Flexible Business Network or consortium to provide the service.

Embarking on New Strategies

You may be providing your services via one or more of:

    a) direct sales and delivery methods;
    b) marketing or delivering through an intermediary, probably based locally or the target market; and
    c) working through partnerships or alliances.
In any of these situations, you may well identify opportunities you can access only, or best, by adopting additional strategies. As with any method of expansion, the key is to ensure that you do not jeopardize your existing arrangements, especially if they are working well. If you are currently delivering your service through a good working relationship with an intermediary, partnership, or alliance, you will want to be particularly sensitive to the interests of your existing colleagues. You will want to discuss the situation fully with them and, if possible, identify ways in which the new approach will also be in their interests

Expanding into New Geographic Markets

The most complex process is to repeat the steps you took in realizing your first export venture. However, this approach is logical where you have identified a major market which you feel confident you can access. Although you will follow the same overall process as for your first export, you now have experience, confidence and competence. You may want to review Parts 5-8 of this guide.

Expanding with Limited Resources

Expanding with limited resources is possible if:

    a) you have developed contacts through your work in existing markets;
    b) your existing clients have colleagues to whom they are willing to recommend you;
    c) you know that there is a situation, or a business environment, or a need similar to that which enabled you to succeed in your current markets; and
    d) you have identified a market in which government endorsement is important, and are able to obtain a strong supporting statement from a government department.

Identifying the Right Markets

Identifying the right markets quickly may be possible if you:

a) check with your existing clients for ideas;
b) check top targets for markets with good potential; and
c) check with good sources of information to compare conditions in the top 2 or 3 markets

Sources of Information

Possible sources of information include:

a) your business or professional associations and their counterparts in the markets;
b) your bank and its corresponding bank in the markets;
c) the websites of each market; and
d) your local Embassy or High Commission covering each market

Selecting your Target Market

In selecting your market, you may wish to consider the following:

a) the personal contacts, cultural familiarity, language ability, and level of interest, that you bring to each market;
b) the experience of other local service exporters in each market;
c) the business climate (positive and negative); and
d) the cost of travel, market presence, and infrastructure services such as communications, in each potential market.

After careful consideration and analysis of all of the above factors, some exporters also like to resort to their sense of intuition... "Does it feel right?"

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