The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Friday Guest Blog - Exporting for the First Time

By Peter Donnelly of RSM Tenon

As with all business opportunities, if well researched, developed and planned, forays into new and different markets can be great opportunities – but failure at any of the key stages can place the business at risk.

Businesses intending to enter new markets abroad should:

• Research the market for your product or service – legal, ethical and cultural issues can all have an impact. For example, certain ingredients in a product may make it illegal or culturally unacceptable in some markets.

• Consider how you will market and sell into the country – agents, distributors, joint ventures or subsidiaries can all have a place to play.

• Consider the tax, accounting and regulatory regimes – don’t assume it will be the same as here – it’s often not!

• Consider how you will finance the business when you go offshore. If you are using asset-based lending, will your lender still work with you when you are owed money from foreign companies? Some will and some won’t.

• Consider how management of this new market fits with the management team’s commitments. Distance and cultural issues are often underestimated when it comes to time required to support a new venture and it’s important that the new does not damage the old.

In summary, any business considering international activity should seek professional advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure the best possible outcome. There is also help available from government bodies such as UKTI who are charged with helping UK business abroad, and who offer regular trade missions abroad to give businesses an insight into building markets overseas.

There will be more advice about exporting for the first time in the Business Doctor section of December's 53 Degrees magazine.

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