Get ready to export

Your checklist

Make the decision to export and build it into your growth plans

Why export?

The decision to take your company into export markets should be part of your plans to grow your company. 

Developing your exports into the EU market can bring many benefits – the opportunity to:

  • Grow your business faster
  • Achieve economies of scale in production and increase profitability
  • Reduce the risk of being dependent on your domestic market for sales

However, it's important that you manage the export process and remain in control of your exporting activity.

You need to be clear from the start how exporting fits with your company’s plans for growth.

Assess your capability to export

One of the first steps is to be clear what the demand and opportunity is for your product or service in the EU market. It's also important to assess whether you have the necessary skills and resources in place to meet this demand. 

Is the management of the company committed to developing the export opportunity to the EU? Do you have the necessary information and understanding of your target EU markets to prioritise and target the most promising markets for your company? 

In terms of your company’s products or services, do they need to be adapted or refined for European markets? Will you need to adapt the labelling of your product, or change your pricing model or service offering to meet different consumer expectations in EU markets?

Create an export plan with clear objectives and milestones

A good export plan will both assess your company capability and what you need to put in place to successfully export to the EU. It will also identify and clarify the specific export market opportunity for your company, and target your priority markets within the EU.  

The plan should be clear on five things:

  • Your export objectives for the EU market
  • Which markets offer the greatest opportunity for your products and services
  • How you intend to enter and develop these markets  
  • What resources you'll require
  • The milestones set out to allow you to manage and control your export development

And the good news is, we can help you with all that. 

Manage the risks of export

Exporting to the EU is not without its risks. Your export plan should identify and allow you to manage any risks you identify. 

For example, assess the time commitment you will require to develop your EU export markets. And ensure you don’t neglect your existing domestic market customers. 

Plan for any additional costs you may incur. And take account that payment for goods and services may take longer in some EU markets and impact on your cash flow. 

Ensure that you also keep up-to-date with the implications and likely outcomes of the current Brexit negotiations.

Get the right support and advice

Doing business in new and unfamiliar markets might seem daunting at first, but there's plenty of support from our teams in Scotland and across our other European offices – whenever and wherever you need it most. 

We can help you:

  • Get ready to sell overseas and create an export action plan
  • Research markets and choose the best ones for you
  • Understand any cultural differences when doing business in EU markets
  • Find the expertise and connections you need as well as the right route to market
  • Source funding to support your exports
  • Navigate the practicalities of export pricing, getting paid and logistics 
  • Visit potential markets, partners and customers

Genius Foods: my exporting journey

In this video, David Shaw, commercial director of Genius Foods, talks about the company's approach to international expansion, giving his top three tips for success: research, respect and relationships.

Upcoming events and webinars

Year-round, we host a wide range of free events and practical workshops to help boost your exports to the EU.

These cover a variety of export related topics, key markets and sectors to help you develop your export potential and promote your business in those markets. 

Recommended events:

  • Preparing to export workshops
  • Ecommerce and emarketplace workshops
  • 'How to' webinars
  • Market insight seminars
  • European trade shows and market visits
  • And much more

Search and book EU events

Save time by learning online

Want to develop your export skills on the go? 

Make your export journey less risky, more profitable and more sustainable with our partners at the ExportSavvy Academy – an online step-by-step guide to develop the right skills and know-how to grow your business abroad.

More about learning exporting essentials online

Contact us

Ask our export advisers about preparing an export plan.

Disclaimer

All information provided on this web page is for general guidance only. The contents of this guide have been provided by our training partners, Upper Quartile. Upper Quartile is not affiliated with any of the third parties or listings represented on our website. Third party listings are drawn from public domain and industry body data sources. Due diligence on a given third party or listing remains the exclusive responsibility of the end user. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the details represented, Upper Quartile and Scottish Enterprise cannot endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any transactions conducted between the user and a given third party or listing provided on this web page.