export-with-confidence

Export with confidence

Do you want to develop your international business? Discover our tips to export with confidence.

Entering a new market can be a vital part of your business growth strategy. You create new opportunities, you access to new customers and you safeguard your business against domestic economic stagnation.

However, international growth also involves notable risks that must be assessed and mitigated wherever possible. Business practice, legal frameworks and local culture hold many variations so that it is dangerous to assume your experience in your home market will apply elsewhere. The time spent researching and rewarding will be well rewarded.

There are many reasons your customer in an overseas market might not pay: politics, an economic shift, their banking relationships or the business culture in their market; the list goes on. One of the most important tasks for anyone working in international sales is to keep track of these factors. So information is a key tool for growing sales, an enabler for the best decisions.

A key step in building business outside your home territory is to define terms of payment for international trade that you are willing to offer. Requesting cash in advance is the safest mode of payment for international trade and good practice where the risks of non-payment are high. However, many customers cannot afford to pay in advance so these terms will limit the number of orders you receive.

To maximise the potential sales volume you may want to trade on open account terms. If so, the risks need to be recognised and backed by checks on the credit worthiness of each and every customer.

To enter a foreign market successfully, extensive research and thoughtful planning are prerequisites. Here are several key steps to ensure your bases are covered and your international expansion yields maximum results:
Before you begin planning for this next step, it is critical to take a hard look at your business to see just how prepared you are.
  • Your finance
    It often takes up three years for an international expansion to be effective. Can your business sustain itself financially during this time?
  • Your leadership
    Is senior management aligned on this growth strategy? Do you have any expertise gaps to fill before proceeding?
  • Your teams
    Do you have strong marketing and commercial teams? Will you need to hire and if yes, are you prepared to do so?  
  • Your offering
    Will your products and services stand out against the local competition? Are you prepared to pivot to address new customer preferences?
Once you have reflected on the state of your business and decided you are internally prepared to grow abroad, the next step is to explore potential markets. Just as with your business evaluation, objectivity is the key here.
  1. Look at both opportunities and risks
    Is the given market welcoming to foreign businesses? What is the regulatory environment like and what red tape should be accounted for? Is there a clear demand for your offering and is the price point feasible for potential customers in this market?
  2. Consider local culture and customs
    From product packaging to marketing tactics, what sells in one market does not necessarily translate to another. Local norms could also affect your business relationships. What are local cultural faux pas?
  3. Get some face time
    Before making financial decisions on target markets, consider exploring the terrain for yourself. Meeting key contacts in-person is the best way to fully grasp the local competition, regulations and distribution channels. Is there an in-country trade show or industry event you could attend?
Now that you have decided which markets you will expand into, this is time to develop you plan of attack – your market entry strategy. Much like a business plan, a successful market entry strategy looks at goals, the business landscape and potential pitfalls.
Do you want to develop your business abroad? Control the risks and seize the opportunities right now, thanks to the advice of our experts.

Protecting your company has never been so important than now. Especially in this crisis period, you are never safe from the default of payment or the insolvency of one of your customers. Very often bad payments and insolvencies lead to a snowball effect. This creates risks for the cash flow and profitability of your business. A large unpaid invoice can jeopardise the growth of your business or eventually lead you to insolvency.

With experienced resources of over 200 countries, we can help you plan your work with employers across the world, in any sector. Backed by the financial strength and technical expertise of a global insurer, our knowledge of local conditions is unrivalled. You can develop your business abroad with confidence.

A trade credit insurance protects your business against the risks of defaults of payment and insolvencies of your customers:

We monitor the financial health of your customers

We take care of the collection of your unpaid invoices

And we compensate you when your customers don’t pay