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Keys to self-assess your export capacity

There are several ways to manage the internationalization of products or goods. Here we give you the keys to carry out a self-diagnosis of the potential of your product and company to take the next step to export. These keys arise from a three-phase model that considers the Preparation, Intervention and Planning of the export project and focuses mainly on detecting opportunities, and also vulnerabilities. 

Competitive analysis

Analyze whether the product is exportable, that is, delve into the characteristics of the product. What do you want to highlight? What are the particularities that make my product more valuable abroad? What characteristics do the raw materials I use have? It is important to consider the preferences and trends of markets that we do not know, such as countries that favor the use of recyclable or compostable materials in their production; or the labeling and packaging that many times considers specific requirements for a specific country. 

It is also necessary to be clear about the production costs considering all the variables, and set the export prices different from those of sale in the domestic market. Did you know that the export price is always net? To take a product out, VAT is not applied 

Finally, it is convenient to prepare an internal analysis of the company: its organizational structure, SWOT, production and financial process. Considering all of the above, it is only possible to determine if the product is competitive in international markets or in the specific country to which it wants to export and that it can generate a real business opportunity, always thinking about the end customer.

Prospecting international markets

Defining where you want to export is not an easy task. This must be done considering the following variables: volume, value and demand trends, market segmentation, positioning of the product or category in the target market, distribution channels, identifying potential competition and substitutes, prices to the final consumer in the market, consumer profile, tastes and preferences, potential customers, suitability of the product to the market to which you want to export and importers' requirements. All of this is done through expert analysis. Consider that the gaze of a third party can always be more objective than your own. 

Sales management, looking for how to present the product and its customers.

To be successful in exporting, it is key to carry out constant sales management using all the means and mechanisms available. The first thing is to consider the ideal communication channels for each market. Just as there are importers who prefer everything written as email, there are still idiosyncrasies where the phone call and even the face-to-face meeting is essential. 

It goes without saying that hyper digitization requires a good digital marketing structure that considers not only Social Networks, but also e-commerce platforms, payment methods, mailing and permanent connection with the consumer communities that are being formed. . The foregoing does not eliminate traditional marketing practices, such as sending samples, participating in fairs or trade missions. All of the above, in order to achieve a sustainable sale over time, which includes campaigns and the expansion of markets. 

Export logistics, packaging, transportation, customs processing and follow-up.

Finally, and increasingly closer to the execution phase, the type of container (can, box, bottle, jar, bag), weights and dimensions, the packaging (boxes, sacks) must be defined depending on whether the product is bulk or fractionated, floor or palletized transport (certified pallet or plastic), dry, refrigerated container, standard or controlled temperature, internal means of transport, international means of transport (air, sea, land).

Without a doubt, there are several aspects that SMEs must take into account when exporting. But before getting overwhelmed, we must break down the myth that it is necessary to consolidate in the national market, since it can be exported in parallel and with even better results. 

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