Export markets are a major opportunity for firms of all sizes, and Business West provides a range of services to help you go global

Want to expand overseas? Start with market research

Do you know which countries offer the best opportunities for your business? Sometimes it is hard to decide where to target next, or even where to start. Market research is

considered one of the most important elements of an export strategy. Before entering a new international market it is essential to carry out detailed research and evaluate target opportunities. We caught up with Kerry Stagg (pictured), research advisory manager at Business West, to find out more.

Which market should you target and

why? It is easy to fall into exporting to a particular country by reacting to ad hoc enquiries and orders. We recommend a strategic approach to selecting the right country. Using our bespoke market selection software, we examine the country potential across the two dimensions of demand and ease. This is carried out collaboratively with individual businesses, and draws on their personal experiences and capabilities, as well as data on their specific market sector. This ensures each business has chosen the country or countries that offer the best opportunities to grow their sales.

How do you go about forming a market

entry strategy for your target market? A comprehensive programme of market research will inform any strategy. Start by thinking about the key decisions you need to make in order to form this strategy. For example, what is your route to market going to be? It might be through a distributor, agent, or direct to customer, or a combination of these and others. To determine what would work best, you will need to examine what current practices are in place in the market. An insight into your competitors can also help with this decision.

It sounds like market research takes a

lot of time and resource? In order to be proactive – you need to be informed. Time spent researching is never wasted, even if the answer is not to export to that market, or wait until market conditions are more favourable. You will avoid costly mistakes! You can of course hand over the research to the experts. Here at Business West, we can conduct research to help with any stage of your export

14 insight MAY/JUNE 2019

journey, from initial market selection, through to development of a global export strategy. Business West is a non-profit organisation, and our mandate is to help companies export more. As such, our service is affordable and customer- focussed, helping you to identify your next international market, and get it right first time.

How it works: If you need help with prioritising countries, book a session to take advantage of our market selection software. A market selection analysis meeting typically takes up to two hours, after which you will receive a comprehensive report, access to the data, and the online portal. Market selection is just the first step in developing your export plan, further desk-based

and in-country market research may be required and our team can help you through every stage.

What our customers say: “The market selection tool has saved us considerable time and money; it has helped us with the assessment of our performance in existing markets, as well as making the selection of a new market a much more systematic process.” Jo Bird & Co.

To find out more about our market selection and market research services, email us at: or ring our friendly team on Tel: 01275 370944, or visit: selection

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