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While there will always be things that take you by surprise on your export journey, you can set your business up for success by covering these important steps to prepare for exporting.

Develop a robust export strategy, and stick to it
When you start exporting, you may find that a lot of different options come across your path, whether they are potential markets, buyers, or partners, that aren’t part of the plan. It can be easy to get sidetracked, and while it's important to consider your options carefully, stay focused and stick closely to your export strategy.

Consider the positioning of your product or service in a new market
When considering if your product or service will succeed overseas, you need to consider your positioning, which will include price points, quality and competition among other things.

Build an experienced and flexible team
You need to know you have the expertise and resources to support you when you win a big export contract, but in the early years of exporting the flow of work may fluctuate. Getting the right team, with the ability to be flexible, will be key.  

Identify strong local partners*
In the export game, relationships are everything: finding and working with great local partners will set your exporting business up for success.

Test, test, and test again
Too many SMEs make the mistake of launching their product or service too early, without testing whether it works and how it is received in the local market. Juts because a product is well received in one market, this may not be the case in another market, while manufacturing capabilities and standards in different countries can vary significantly.

*We will provide further information on finding the right partners in a later edition in this series.

"We weren’t going to get any major orders unless we could demonstrate that these products would actually work [in the market] – Aaron Begley, Matrix Composites and Engineering."

"We made the mistake of launching our product too early. We thought our product was perfect, in fact it wasn’t even close. – James Douglas Carbon Revolution."

Hear from some of the panellists at our recent SME Briefings on how they set their businesses up for export success.