How to Identify the Perfect Market

Two tack pins in a map

Increase your chances of success by thinking carefully about which markets to target. Take the time to do the right research, concentrating on the following questions.

  • What is the market potential of the country? Are potential customers for your exports in good supply and do they have the resources to buy?
  • Who will the competition be and can you match it? Are there gaps in the market?
  • Can you get your goods to the market in good order? Distribution needs to be financially viable as well as practical.
  • Are there specific barriers to trading in this country – regulation that might prove difficult to overcome, for example.
  • Can you communicate in the market in question? Is English widely spoken and if not how will you get your message across?
  • Is it easy to access information on market conditions and factors that may influence demand for your products?
  • How will you enter the market – will you sell online or look for local partners? Are these options available and practical? 
  • Do you have a unique selling point in the market – the Made in Britain tag, for example, is now a premium brand in many countries.
  • Do you need to visit the country in order to sell there – either initially or an ongoing basis? If so, are the time and cost implications acceptable?
  • Do you already have contacts in particular markets that may be able to help?

In practice, most exporters – but by no means all – start close to home, often in the European Union, where common regulation and open markets make life simpler for British businesses.

By: David Prosser

Experts say

Mike Josypenko

Expert answers to all the most frequently asked export questions

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