There are several ways to evaluate the export potential of your products and services in overseas markets. The most common approach is to examine the success of your products domestically. If your company succeeds at selling in the U.S. market, there is a good chance that it will also be successful in markets abroad, at least those where similar needs and conditions exist.
Another means to assess your company's potential in exporting is by examining the unique or important features of your product. If those features are hard to duplicate abroad, then it is likely that you will be successful overseas. A unique product may have little competition and demand for it might be quite high.
Finally, your product may have export potential even if there are declining sales in the U.S. market. Sizeable export markets may still exist, especially if the product once did well in the United States but is now losing market share to more technically advanced products. Other countries may not need state-of-the-art technology and/or may be unable to afford the most sophisticated and expensive products. Such markets may have a surprisingly healthy demand for U.S. products that are older or considered obsolete by U.S. market standards.
Assessing Your Company's Export Readiness
Answering these general questions about how exporting will enhance into your company's short, medium and long-term goals will help determine your company's readiness to export:
- What does the company want to gain from exporting?
- Is exporting consistent with other company goals?
- What demands will exporting place on the company's key resources, management and personnel, production capacity, and finance and how will these demands be met?
- Are the expected benefits worth the costs, or would company resources be better used for developing new domestic business?
The next step is to more closely examine the impact of exporting on your company. The questions in Management Issues Involved in the Export Decision will help you analyze the decision to export.
More about exporting:
Developing an Export Plan
Developing a Market Plan
Technology Licensing /Joint Ventures
Preparing Your Product for Export
International Legal Considerations
Shipping Your Product
Pricing, Quotations, and Terms
Methods of Payment
Financing Export Transactions
Learn about starting an Import/Export Business.