Getting ready to sell overseas

Good preparation makes for great exporting. Making sure you have the right resources and skills in place before you start saves time and reduces your workload in the long run. It can also lead to larger profits and less risk for your company.

It’s important to understand what’s involved in selling overseas, but preparations can be made bit by bit and you don’t have to be an expert on anything. There are many support organisations and existing exporters out there who are ready and willing to help you.

Get your product ready

First establish whether there are opportunities for your product or service outside the UK. This includes determining which countries offer the biggest demand for your product. Think about your unique selling point and what features of your product and service will really appeal to customers in the market you’re targeting.

Consider also the most suitable route to market for your product or service. For example, if you’re a small giftware company, selling online may be a good way to introduce your product to a market with less complexity and risk. Selling online overseas will help you find the best place to sell your products online. It also lets you take advantage of special deals negotiated by the government for UK businesses. Read more about the government’s E-Exporting programme.

You’ll need to also consider any modifications to satisfy overseas requirements – from legal ones like standards, to labelling and packaging, to differing tastes.

You should be prepared to research one or several markets. You can do this online but market visits might be worth the outlay. Trade missions are a very effective way to do this. Trade representatives at British Embassies may be able to help with activities related to trade missions, as well as with market research and market visits.

See our guidance on market research, on selling online and on routes to market.

See a list of DIT worldwide offices where you can contact a trade representative.


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