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International trade –
are you reaping the rewards?
Does your company do business internationally? • Look at the opportunities for your
In today’s global environment, if your company products/services
is online, you are likely to do business globally
• Consider your company’s compatibility
to some extent, whether intentionally or not.
with each country and its market
But are you really taking advantage of the
international opportunities out there?
• Do a cultural analysis of specific
Do you have a written international marketing country/countries to check for any
plan? Have you researched the market in detail barriers to market entry
and are you aware of the potential pitfalls?
• Create a profile of the market and highlight
What share of market are you losing to your
any concerns
• Assess the risk
It is commonplace
The next steps
that too few
companies will bother to place international
So far, so good? Consider how these factors
companies in the
development on the boardroom agenda.
will sit alongside your company structure, its
cleaning industry
So why is this? Ignorance of the true market
internal resources, stakeholder expectations
give international
potential? A fear of the unknown? A lack of
and company objectives.
business the full
know-how? Maybe it’s all three. It’s not that
attention it
difficult to succeed overseas but a planned
If you get this far this you’ll need to consider
approach is necessary. Perhaps I can help.
which routes to market to take. Direct sales,
Ceris Burns
distribution, a subsidiary, a joint venture or will
business is a subject close to my heart so I
Your starting point you do business on line? Consider the pros
hate to see untapped opportunities. I suppose
If you want to take advantage of international and cons of each option. How do they match
I hate to see a lost sale!
opportunities but don’t know where to start, your objectives, resources, export experience,
A need for global trade
don’t just jump in - you could risk hundreds
language skills and competitive situation?
of thousands of pounds. If you are going to
Back in September, I attended the joint
Control your risk
do business in any market, information is
meeting of the European Federation of
This is just the very beginning of the planning
king. You must make it your aim to KNOW
Cleaning Industries and the World Federation
process but if you use this framework you will
YOUR EXPORT MARKETS. Did you know that
of Building Service Contractors in Vienna
start to build a solid picture of the market and
80% of export failures are due to cultural
where the topic of discussion was the global
the odds will start stacking up in your favour.
state of play of the cleaning industry. It was
International business opportunities can be
immediately apparent that all the countries
• Country analysis – what do you need to know?
very attractive and I would urge you to
represented had common goals and amongst
• Is there a commercial opportunity out there?
seriously consider the options open to your
factors cited for future success - industry
• Is the country safe to go to?
company. But beware, don’t cut corners.
image, training and sustainability and the need
• Gather desk research online and from
Good luck and feel free to get in touch to
for global trade was consistently mentioned.
export support services
discuss any export marketing challenges!
A lack of action
• Set up local appointments, go to the
Despite this mutual recognition of a need for
country and do field research
global trade, I fear that only the biggest • Assess the competition and level of market
players will act while few smaller sized development
The future of our cleaning industry |TOMORROW’S CLEANING |
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