When you first start, exporting can be quite resource intensive both for staffing and financial commitment. After a while, international activity becomes ‘business as usual’. While you’re getting started, here are a few resource issues to think through:
- Do you have dedicated team members who can focus on export activities as part of or all of their role?
- How long will it take you to investigate export opportunities?
- What is the potential cost of obtaining any additional resources (staff, production equipment etc.)
- Have you allowed for a development and establishment period in your income forecasts?
- Export payments can take longer to receive than domestic payments. How will you manage your cash flow and working capital?
- What credit period will you have to work with?
- Will you need to make any changes to your design, development and production methods?
- Have you considered any language and cultural differences in your target markets and thought about how you will deal with these?
- Will you need to invest in new equipment or recruit additional staff?
- Check whether there are any funding schemes that can assist you with export development activity. Maybe start by clicking here to visit the Kent & Medway Growth Hub grants & finance pages.
- Assign a member of staff to manage international sales and marketing – ideally with previous export experience and relevant language skills.
- Assess additional training needs including cultural awareness or international regulations that your staff may require such as documentation training with KICC or courses run by the Institute of Export or DIT.
- Put procedures and systems in place to cover staff members who might be away on international business.
- Implement operational changes to cope with additional demands placed on the business, such as extended office hours, to deal with customers in different time zones.
You can also speak to a local export specialist from the Department for International Trade or Enterprise Europe Network to get further 1-2-1 advice on this. Please click on this link to view their contact details.