Are You Export Ready?

Business plan, check! Growth strategy, check! Production capacity, check! International market research, double check! You’re on your way to export readiness…preparation is essential for any firm contemplating a new market, whether foreign or domestic. But, sometimes, the red tape gets in the way and you’re put off by the “stickiness” of it all- yes, JAMPRO understands! So, let’s help you to make that journey much simpler.

Make sure you start with an Export Plan.  And if you aren’t too sure, check your level of readiness by completing the plan using the following 8 key business management areas as a guide.  They can help to make your export strategy come alive!

  • Strategy
  • Production
  • Finance
  • Distribution
  • Organizing and Co-operating
  • Monitoring and Improvement
  • Planning and Analysis

Using each of the management areas above, ask yourself some critical questions prior to making any commitment to starting an export business.

So, what are some other things you can do maximize export opportunities? Well, you can find out if your country has any bilateral or multilateral trade agreements that may make exporting your product(s) attractive to particular area(s). International trade agreements primarily serve the purpose of making bilateral or multilateral trade freer among the signatories. We can help you do this too!

You may also want to enquire about any relevant government policies to assist the development of your particular sector. The assistance can be in the form of: information support, financing, infrastructure support, tax reform, or tax exemptions.  You may also seek to ready yourself by taking advantage of the various incentives such as the provision of low interest loans for export financing, export procedure training.

Market, market, market- focusing on your market is paramount. One of the common mistakes made by small business owners is failing to clearly define what the potential market wants. Making such a mistake can result in serious financial loss, since it is specifically small enterprises that are ideally suited to reach some market segments that their larger rivals either overlook or consider too small to be profitable.

To be ready for an export market, you need to satisfy the needs and wants of the potential buyer much better than your competitors. Many exported products need modifications for particular market preferences such as translating packaging, product and instruction manuals, and quality standards. You should also consider ideal sales distribution channels, likelihood of product breakage, weight, moisture, theft, storage, transportation and so on. Don’t forget to also think about adapting the physical features of your product like its size, weight, ingredients, colour, and packaging to the prospective buyer’s wants and needs.

Consider an effective and efficient way in which you will deliver your products to your customer.  Effective delivery involves providing the quantities ordered, on time, at the expected quality and at minimum cost. Building a favourable reputation in delivery can give your enterprise a significant competitive advantage. 

Your pricing strategy- the potential competition, market for the product, and the cost of producing and exporting, are elements you also need to evaluate your readiness for export.  Price is not the only factor that buyers consider when making a purchase decision; so when selecting a target market, try to also identify prospective buyers whose needs and wants are not met by competitors adequately.

Finally, do not neglect your marketing communications. Use different methods of communicating with potential buyers like participating in international trade events, disseminating sales literature and conducting personal sales are three key aspects of export promotion.

Remember that the key to export readiness is having a clear understanding of the procedures to handle international sales and contract negotiations! If you want more help, we’re happy to be of service, so contact us NOW!

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Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO)
JAMPRO is an Agency of the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector.

The views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of JAMPRO

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