Thinking of exporting?

Here at Access to Export, we help many companies export a diverse range of products to many worldwide markets by providing export services such as Export DocumentationLetter of Credit managementExport Compliance and Incoterms® advice. Whilst we actively encourage companies to export, for those companies contemplating exporting for the first time, we want you enter the world of export with your eyes wide open.

To help with this, we have put together the following list of key points that should be factored into the process of thinking and planning for export. Today, it is relatively easy to find customers in export markets and in many ways that is the easy part. However, the key to long term success is research, planning and preparation. Remember – failing to plan is planning to fail!

Have you considered the following?

Market Research

  • How should we research the market?
  • Do we have the resources and skills to conduct thorough research or do we need external help?
  • Is there funding available?

Market Selection

  • Which market first?
  • Is it geographically close?
  • Is the market easy to access and start selling in to?
  • What are the potential BREXIT implications?


  • Which competitors are active in the market?
  • Is the product manufactured locally in the market?

Product Suitability

  • Is the product suitable/compatible with the market?
  • What local standards, laws and regulations apply and does the product comply?
  • Does it need modifications?
  • Is our intellectual property adequately protected – do we need to consider patents and trademarks?


  • What marketing materials are required?
  • Do catalogues and brochures need to be modified or translated?
  • Are there cultural and language barriers?

Which Distribution Channel

  • Direct sales
  • On-line sales
  • Distributor or agent
  • Local office


  • Do we have enough capacity to meet the additional demand?
  • Do we have sufficient finance available?
  • What sales support will be required?
  • What technical support will be required?
  • Can we support customer’s with installation, warranty, training and servicing?


  • How should the product be priced to be both competitive and profitable?
  • What pricing are competitors using?
  • What are the additional costs associated with selling in this market?
  • What are the anticipated profit margins?
  • Which trade terms (Incoterms®) should we use?
  • What duties and taxes are applicable? And who should pay them?

Foreign Exchange Rate Risk

  • Do we sell in sterling or local currency?
  • How do we protect ourselves from currency fluctuations?


  • How do we ensure security of payment?
  • What payment options are available?
  • What costs are involved with receiving foreign payments?
  • Do we need credit insurance?
  • Does our bank offer trade services?


  • What do we need to do to export in a fully compliant manner?
  • What are our obligations as an exporter?
  • What export controls, restrictions, sanctions and embargoes exist?
  • Are export licences or permits required?
  • What are the tax implications?


  • What export documentation is required?
  • Can we prepare and arrange all the required documents?


  • Are suitable logistics services available?
  • What are the costs?
  • What is the transit time?
  • Do we need export packaging?

Product Warranty

  • What warranty policy should be offered?
  • Who covers the cost of shipping and duties/taxes for parts supplied under warranty?
  • Do we need local spares stock?
  • What response times will customers expect?

As mentioned, the key to export success is research, planning and preparation, so hopefully this checklist has covered all the key areas to be thought about when planning for export. If you are considering exporting but need support, why not contact us for a no obligation discussion so we can ensure you start exporting successfully and profitably.

Happy exporting!