4 exporting challenges to overcome

A person signing a check

Exporting can be a difficult process, if you are thinking about trading on an international scale you’ll need to overcome the following challenges.

Making the initial financial investment

Selling to overseas markets requires an initial financial investment, which can derail businesses’ plans if they aren’t expecting it. Trips to your new target markets, hiring new staff and manufacturing products to sell will all add up quickly.

Discuss your financial situation with your accountant before making any decisions and remember to take a long-term view. It’s unlikely you’ll see any real returns in the first year.

Making contacts 

The domestic arm of your business probably relies heavily on the contacts you have built up over the years; both customers and suppliers. You now need to start again and build these relationships in another country, where there is probably a language barrier. Face-to-face meetings can go a long way to facilitating business relationships. 

Understanding what new markets want

You may have to make some adaptations to your product range to make it suitable for an international audience or to comply with local regulations. Do market research, just like you would when launching a new product in the UK. You also need to think about how your new audience makes purchases and what after-sales care they require.

Cultural differences

Every country does business in slightly different ways and it’s important to be aware of and respect cultural differences. Learning some of the local customs which surround business transactions could open doors which would otherwise remain firmly shut to overseas traders.


Experts say

Image of David Prosser
Prepare to Export
David Prosser

Quick ones

Try our interactive tool

View the UK Import and Export figures from August 2012 – July 2013 and find out how much you do know about the current market