Accelerate - December 2015

Tips to connect offshore

open this image in new window: Successfully connecting offshore

Exporting is a journey. It can help your business grow and prosper. We asked NZTE to share some tips on how to do it right.

Exporting is a journey. It can help your business grow and prosper. It can also improve your competitiveness by exposing you and your staff to new ideas and demands from overseas customers. Accelerate asked New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to share some tips on how to successfully connect to overseas markets.

The mainstays of successful exporting are commitment and planning. Whatever your product or service, as a potential or existing exporter you need to understand issues such as marketing, pricing, logistics, competition and cultural factors in export markets.

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Preparation is key

Like any business development and growth, exporting needs to be carefully considered and managed. Plans and budgets should be prepared, objectives need to be set. For example:

  • What does your business want to achieve? 
  • How will it scale up?
  • What impact will this have on the rest of the business (people and resources)?
  • Is the product market ready?
  • What will the business need to do to get it market ready if it isn’t already?
  • Who are your competitors; are they competitive and what is their unique selling point?
  • Is your IP covered?
  • What channel(s) to market do you want to focus on? 
  • Who do you need to target?
  • Where can you get help?

There are many options for entering an overseas market - choosing the right one for you depends on a number of factors. Your choices will involve the amount of control you want, and the resources you are able to commit.

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Evaluate where you’re at

Before choosing a market entry strategy, take the time to evaluate your business and its strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • how is business conducted in your industry sector and in the target market?
  • how much after sales support or service is needed?
  • what export experience does your company have?
  • what degree of control are you happy with?
  • how much time can you spend travelling to the market?
  • what level of resource commitment are you prepared to make?
  • what is your current level of ability to increase capacity?
  • how much finance do you have available?
  • what entry option is best suited to your product or service?

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Advice on selecting an export market

Researching the market will help determine whether your company is targeting the right market or not –is there is actually a demand for what you are selling?

Validation is crucial – don’t just go by a friend or family member’s suggestion or jump at the first distributor or contact that shows interest in your product. Finding the right partner is crucial.

A key consideration to make is whether or not the produce is the right fit for the market. Replicating what the business does in New Zealand may not be the best way to approach other markets.

In fact, when exporting, you can’t rely on replicating exactly what works at home. Often, you will be required to develop your existing products and services or even invent new ones, to suit a new market’s needs.

Products that are successful in New Zealand don’t necessarily transfer across borders and many companies find they need to change their products to meet the market needs in both packaging and product design.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the Government’s international business development agency. Their purpose is to grow companies internationally – bigger, better, faster – for the benefit of New Zealand.

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Accelerate December 2015 index

Updated: 10 December 2015