Getting your business to the next level- export stage

So, you’re an entrepreneur. Your product or service is gaining traction locally and thus you’re harbouring thoughts of exporting. Your business maybe a product – manufacturing condiments, foods, natural oils or spices. Or, maybe you’re in the services industry – proving software solutions or excellent management strategies. Getting your company ready to produce and export on a large scale is no joke – it’s serious business.

I sought the advice of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, JBDC, for tested and proven guidelines on exporting.

Business Advisory Services Manager at JBDC, Althea West-Myer, says to minimise losses in time and money, as well as, to maintain good consumer confidence it’s extremely important to follow some critical measures before exporting. A business person must first conduct necessary product research, she asserts. This research will ascertain, identify and assess the markets which you intend to supply and, or to which you wish to export.

“Ensure products or services meet the requirements of your target market and meet international standards if the global market is being targeted,” she says.

Ms. West-Myer also states that a future exporter must ensure existing business systems such as machinery and manpower are able to support consistent delivery of product or service in desired quantity and quality as demanded by the export market.

“Does existing capacity allow me to export desired volumes? Are my business processes mature enough to support the requirements of an export strategy? ” the questions business persons should honestly answer, notes Ms. West-Myer.

It’s also key for business persons to methodically calculate how much they’re willing and able to invest to increase existing capacity. As business expansion requires capital injection. Will this funding come from personal income, the current business purse or from an investor?

Networking is also an important strategy to launching on the export market. Therefore entrepreneurs should connect with agencies which facilitate business development and export such as JAMPRO, the Jamaica Exporters Association, and of course the JBDC.

All this may seem overwhelming, especially if you’d like to concentrate on quality and quantity of your product or service. Seek the assistance of JBDC on launching across borders. The Corporation provides a range of services such as:

* Market Research
* Product Development
* Business Viability Assessment
* Formulation of an export strategy

So, stop the pondering. Go ye therefore and produce to export!

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Shelly-Ann Thompson - Contributor
- Shelly-Ann Thompson has been employed in the media sector for more than 15 years; with experience in print, television and online. She's equally passionate about the visual and performing arts which she believes should be more engaged for positive social change.

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

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