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Dynamic checklist for exporters

Dynamic checklist for a company considering exporting outside its strong home market and facing foreign competitors in its home market

Topic Recommended strategy
Your company
  1. How reliant are you at present on sales from your home country? And how profitable are those sales?
Highly reliant? Move with caution. Highly profitable? Prepare for entry by overseas competitors
  1. How well are you organized to operate outside the home country now, even if the sales have yet to materialize?
Well organized? Proceed with caution. Need to organize? Undertake full evaluation before exporting.
  1. What are you now able to offer other countries: more of the home product or something different if required? And will the product that you offer be better than what is currently available in your target export market?
Only able to sell your home-based product? Move with caution.

Able to offer something different but not superior? Better but not a strong basis in itself for exporting.

Something superior? A clear basis for exporting

Your home markets
  1. Are they growing fast with much activity? Or are they growing more slowly?
Fast? Tackle these first.

Slow? Possible to look to export opportunities.

  1. Does your company have a high market share in its home market? And is it a market leader? Or is it only one of several companies and not clear leader?
High share? Defend home market.

Leadership? Defend.

Fragmented? Not so important to defend

  1. How important is marketplace technical innovation? And does this involve high capital expenditure or research and development?
Important? Maybe export markets would offer wider sales scope, but competitors will also see this. Same true for R&D.
  1. How likely are your home customers to change to another company? Are they loyal or would they move at the first opportunity? Are they so tied to you that they cannot move anyway?
Loyal? Defend without doubt.

Move easily? Maybe still defend by building loyalty and beware overseas competitors coming in to steal your customers!

Competitors in your home markets
  1. Are they mainly from your home market?

Or are they mainly international competitors either through imports or through manufacturing in your home market?

Home market competitors? Defend


From outside? Attacking their territory may be a useful form of defence. But depends on what resources and success foreign competitors have in their home markets.

  1. What do you know about potential global competitors in your home country? Not very much or a great deal?
Not much? Defend until clarified


A great deal? Act accordingly.

  1. Are other international companies now waiting to attack your home market or is this likely to happen soon, e.g. in the next two years?
Foreign competition waiting to attack now or soon? First priority is not export but defending the home market.
  1. On what basis might an attack on your home market be mounted? Full frontal assault on you or would competitors pick off a niche market? With what strategies?
Full frontal assault? Probably need to defend.


Niche attack? Can be dangerous, especially if innovative – analyze and defend.

Your home and export costs
  1. Is transport or service a significant part of total costs? Or is it relatively cheap to offer the goods and services in other countries?
Significant? Expect potential competitors to think hard before entering your markets and you should think hard before exporting

Cheap? Expect competition

  1. Can you set up internationally without incurring major capital costs, e.g. factories? Or is it necessary to have local facilities?
Major capital costs involved? If so, then both your own strategies and those of your competitors will be predictable for some months or years ahead: watch the markets.
  1. Will it be expensive to meet the different requirements of other national markets? Or will it only involve a few simple product changes?
Expensive? Important to consider implications

Cheap and simple? Useful opportunity, especially if economies of scope and scale also available.


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