Over the years, we have had the privilege to help thousands of small and medium sized companies on their journey to establishing themselves abroad. Those that follow our recommended steps have 11% higher export turnover than comparable control groups.

The journey starts at home

Before you start looking at the actual market to enter, you need to make sure you have the foundation needed. That your business is ready to move abroad. If you are not, take the time to get ready, it will save you time and money and increase your chances to succeed.

When you are ready it is time to find out how to get prepared. All steps may not be relevant for you, so simply skip those that aren’t. But make sure you only skip those that are truly irrelevant, not those that you are uncertain of how to deal with it. You do not want to leave your expansion to chance.

1. Starting point for successful expansion
Look at your reasons for expanding, former experience and what strengths can you utilize to succeed. Be honest and get a good overview of your situation.

2. Pick the right market
Make analysis of several markets. Compare them and make priorities based on your strengths and your challenges.

3. Increase sustainability
Sustainability is becoming more and more important for investors, clients and consumers. To create a long-term global sales growth, make sure that you work actively with this and make sustainability a strength of yours.

4. Make your market segmentation
Look at the customer segments you work with today, and how you can divide the new markets into segments and select the target groups with the highest potential from a sales or profit perspective. Have a think about whether adjustments are needed to your offering to make it attractive in the new market.

5. Find your sales arguments
Expressing yourself in a clear yet selling manner to new and existing customers is crucial. Formulate your sales arguments for each prioritised segment.

6. Set your prices
Having the right price is a necessary factor. What price level will send the right signals and attract the right target groups?

7. Analyse your competition
Knowing your competition is key to know how to act and how to approach your customers. Analyse and keep track of your key competitors.

8. Select distribution strategy
By selecting the right distribution channels you increase your opportunities to approach the market and the customers in an efficient way. Look at different options and find the best solution for you.

9. Find partners
To get a good sales growth over time you must have the right partnerships. Make sure to find a partner that gives you what you need, but who also benefits from what you offer. A win-win partnership has potential for long-term cooperation.

10. Write good contracts
Find out what type of agreements you need and what things you should discuss with a legal counsel. In your agreements with your partners, requirements and desired outcomes will be specified, so it will be an important support tool for your business development.

11. Plan your marketing
Your marketing strategy is a plan for what message you wish to send to different segments and how to do this. Be aware of that different markets may need very different strategies.

12. Do the calculations
Before you go ahead with your plans you need solid calculations. These will show your monetary needs and whether you need to find external funds to finance your plans or not.

13. Get to know the rules and regulations
Once you are about to start, several export technical issues must be handled. It can be anything from shipping arrangements to labelling requirements. Prepare thoroughly and make sure you meet all demands and mitigate risks when possible to.

Ready to get going

Based on your findings, you can put together your very own plan with an overview of your goals. This can be used as documentation if you need to find investors or financiers. Then, you are ready to start your journey towards new markets and global sales growth.

Use our online steps to exports

The entire preparation journey can be done in our tool, online steps to export. Through the tool, you get much knowledge and insight for each of the steps and can make qualified decisions and strategic choices. To get a free assessment of your readiness, create an account and log in to the tool.

You can also reach out to us in person to book an advisory session with one of our Global Business Developers.