I have been fortunate to work in international export for many years. This career has allowed me to meet many people and discover the world.

By tapping into international markets, you will increase the sales volume of your company, therefore making your business profitable. Exporting also limits your risk in the event of a market loss or recession.

So, whether you are a tenured exporter or a newbie, there is a lot to consider. Here are six things to keep in mind:

Always be prepared
Prepare your files and be organized.

Whatever the type of appointment, you must always prepare. Think about your arguments and the counter-arguments that could be presented to you.

Have a solid plan. If the first one does not work, redirect the negotiation in the right direction.

It's so exhilarating to get out of a difficult negotiation with a key account and to think that you got exactly what you expected.

It`s also rewarding when you grow the volume of your business in a country by having dealt with the right customer, importer or the right sales agent.

Focus on a limited number of target countries and then gradually move forward in a methodical way. Don`t focus too big at the start.

Get on the move
Don`t stay on the sidelines. See the market for yourself, visit the stores and conduct a survey of the competition's prices. Face-to-face meetings have much more chance of success. It's difficult to create a connection remotely.

Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships
Have several options/partners in mind, meet them in person if possible and choose the best for your product/company.

Getting along well with a partner is essential. If you perceive a problem of value, ethics, or just that your exchanges are not pleasant, it will very quickly affect your sales performance.

Partnerships are built on mutual trust and help. You should have the same goal: to break into the market.

Understand the rules
As an exporter, you are responsible for delivering a compliant product with the right documents. There are many organizations that can help you, you can also rely on the knowledge of your customs broker or freight forwarder.

Be sure to:
  • learn about the procedures, regulatory requirements of your product in the target market and make sure you are in compliance with the regulations.
  • find out about the required export documents

Be culturally aware
Keep in mind cultural differences, this will play a very important role in your exchanges. Brief with your partners on how to prepare for your meeting but also on the potential of success of your product in this foreign market.

Offer material (catalogue) in the language, currency, unit of measurement of your customer. It sounds silly, but many do not!

It`s not only large businesses export. So many small to medium sized businesses find success in international markets. When your business reaches a maturation phase in domestic markers, often it`s time to look further.

Great things are happening in New Brunswick. Many products or services made in NB can find their place abroad. Talk to your local support organizations and get started!

Stéphanie Clark is the development officer responsible for Export and International Trade with Women in Business NB. She is eager to bring her diverse experience in international markets to counsel, support and help women entrepreneurs with their export projects.

Connect with Stephanie