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Monday, December 9, 2013

Fledgling Exporters- where to start

Start with focus on ONE market. Later expand. It is important to understand the target mkt. Be sure you understand general bus. conditions, political & social trends to isolate an appropriate market. In Europe, for example - know the diff. between North & South EU community as well as the diff. between the EC & the Eastern Bloc.

Know the payment history of the target area. For example: doing bus. in Latin America or the Middle East presents an entire set of sales problems that are like night & day from each other and Europe.

One area that is vexing is competition from other U.S. exporters who offer payment terms & financing that has nothing to do with what you are offering. These non price issues vary in hard currency areas, exchange regulation restrictions and even source origins - say China.. To establish guidelines contact overseas the local American Chamber of Commerce in the MAJOR city of the area planned for entry


We've talked about this before. All written mat'l. in the local language. All paging. clearly marked in local. (this includes owners' manuals; labels; guarantees; etc. Pricing in Europe must take into account VAT. Hidden costs such as import duties, storage locally impact accessibility. This info can be obtained from the Commercial Attache of the target country by calling their relative Embassy in DC.

Trade barriers exist such as Import licence, (due to dollar availability); regulatory approvals (electrical, health, etc) All this can be researched by contacting the above Trade office of the target mkt. The Embassy of the target area in Washington DC will provide how to get the info. Product support services are crucial for re-ordering. Spares & parts need to be positioned locally to build customer confidence in your line.


Asses your customer by: 1 Length of time in business; 2 Rqst. 5 references from other suppliers - preferably U.S. but foreign is perfectly acceptable (the Int'l. trade community shares this info willingly. 3 If an agent, demand who others they represent and obtain their comments; 4 ask for Banking references - who do they bank with (also readily available - ask YOUR banker to obtain that info from the bank name they give you; 5 write a contract that stipulates volume expected, territory, length of agreement and non compete with your line.

Hank Samuel - SCORE Certified Mentor

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