After assessing if your business is ready for export, the next step of your market research is to understand which market to enter and the trends and developments in that market. Initial market research can be done through secondary sources such as the CIA World Factbook. However, in order to give strong recommendations and conclusions, the use of primary data is necessary.
There are approximately one hundred and ninety six countries in the world, and almost all of them present a market opportunity to you. You cannotsell into every one of these countries, nor would you want to. Given this, it is important to be able to evaluate which ones are appropriate for your product/service and your capacity and capability to serve them.
Gathering market intelligence on product demand, potential agents or distributors, pricing levels, and your competition are all of critical importance to your eventual success. Perhaps the most effective way to gather this intelligence is through your participation in the country’s trade shows, trade missions, and industry specific conferences.
International market research can be used to: determine new markets, test products, and determine public opinions on certain strategies. Although different, they all follow a basic step-by-step process. These general stages can be used as a how-to guide in market research.
There are a number of factors that will determine your choice of markets such as the types of government, the degree of competition, and the number of changes you need to make to your product for the market. These will largely be determined through solid market research and the gathering of useful market intelligence.
Summary of the key points that you have learned in the ‘Preparing to Export’ section.
Next: Market Research