The Road Ahead


Welcome to The Road Ahead  – your second lesson in ‘Why export?’

  • What are the key steps that exporters take on the journey into international markets?
  • What help is available to support developing exporters?

International trade is highly rewarding but, as with all business, that reward comes with an element of risk. In international trade costs can be higher, so it is sensible to think it through. Plan ahead and take maximum advantage of the help that is out there – advice, help with travel overseas, help with research, help with exhibiting and promoting your business – there is probably more out there for you than you think

Key Decisions on the Road Ahead

International trade is highly rewarding, but as with all business that reward comes with an element of risk. As an Entrepreneur or Business Manager you will no doubt do many things instinctively, you will make mistakes, and some can be costly. In international trade these costs can be magnified, so it is sensible to think and plan ahead, to ensure that you minimise the chance of making the mistakes.


What does the road ahead look like?

Whether you are a product business or a service business, you will probably face six really key decisions as you move forward:


  • Decision One: The decision to develop a proactive approach to overseas markets. What priority will the development of international business have in your company?
  • Decision Two: The market selection decision; which geographical markets will you focus on (and why?)
  • Decision Three: The market entry route decision; how will you access the market?
    There are a number of options. In the early stages you need to be aware of these, but keep an open mind. This is an important decision and will need to be informed by your knowledge of your target market.Options are:


    • Distributor
    • Agent
    • Direct (either using e-commerce or conventional means)
    • Joint Venture
    • Licensing or Franchising
    • Setting up your own office or subsidiary
  • Decision Four: The partner selection decision; If you need a partner or partners to represent you or work with you, who will they be?
  • Decision Five: Your proposition; will you need to modify what you do in the UK and will you need to adjust your prices to the conditions of another market?
  • Decision Six: What resources will you need to allocate to this project?


At this stage in your thinking you probably won’t have answers to all the questions above – you may not have answers to any of them! But they are all questions you will need to answer and decisions you will need to make as you move forward.

Fortunately there is a lot of good help out there with advice from people who are already familiar with the journey.


Let's do it - Action Zone!

Click here to go to the Action Zone and start building your strategy.

(NB. You need to create a free account and be logged in to access the action zone.)

Click to complete, and choose another lesson.