Before you make the decision to export, think about the resources and knowledge your business already has and the changes you may need to make.
Consider the following:
- Are your export objectives clear and achievable?
- Do you know what exporting involves and what it takes to succeed?
- Are you open to new ways of doing business?
- Can your staff handle the extra demand associated with exporting?
- Is your team committed to succeeding in new markets?
- Can you respond quickly to customer inquiries?
- Do you have personnel with culturally-sensitive marketing skills?
- How will you deal with language barriers?
FINANCIAL AND LEGAL RESOURCES
- Can you obtain enough capital or credit to produce the product or deliver the service?
- Will you find ways to reduce the financial risks of international trade?
- Do you have people to advise you on the legal and tax implications of exporting?
- How will you deal with different monetary systems?
- Is your intellectual property protected?
- Do you have the resources to do market research?
- How do you plan to enter export markets?
- Is your product or service viable in your target market?
- Who already uses your product or service?
- Is it in broad general use or limited to a particular group?
- Is it popular with a certain age group?
- Are there other significant demographic patterns to its use?
- What climatic or geographic factors affect the use of your product or service?
- Are modifications required to make it appeal to foreign customers?
- What is its shelf life? Will this be reduced by time in transit?
- Is the packaging expensive? Can it be easily modified to satisfy the demands of foreign customers?
- Is special documentation required? Does it need to meet any technical or regulatory requirements?
- How easily can it be transported?
- Would transportation costs make competitive pricing a problem?
- Does it require professional assembly or other technical skills?
- Is after-sales service needed? If so, is it available locally or do you have to provide it? Do you have the resources to do this?
- If you are exporting services, what is unique or special about them?
- Are your services considered to be world-class?
- Do you need to modify your services to allow for differences in language, culture and business environment?
- How do you plan to deliver your services: in person, with a local partner or electronically?
- Can you serve both your existing domestic customers and your new foreign clients?
- Will you be able to look after your export customers if domestic demand increases?
(Source: Canada Business Ontario)