3 Common Export Mistakes

Expanding into a new market is never a routine for a company, even for large corporations.

We would like to present 3 common mistakes:

First mistake: underestimate the bureaucratic obligations

It is impossible to make a list of all the bureaucratic obligations. Every country in the world has different rules for each sector. For example, to export food in USA companies have to comply with FDA rules.  Again, to export in the Eurasian Customs Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia), products have to obtain the EAC (Eurasian Conformity Mark).

Not all the countries are part of large trade organizations that make agreements to uniform part of bureaucratic obligations (e.g. the European Union has common rules for the homologation of goods).

It is important to understand all the necessary obligation that is requested for the export in a new market. But unfortunately, in many countries, it is almost impossible to understand clearly all the rules. And “surprises” are often discovered during the path.

The local distributor is the subject that can help you more. In case you want to export to a new market directly (without intermediaries) is ofter necessary to hire an experienced consultant in the sector.

It is always important to consider that bureaucratic obligations could be more expensive and could take a longer time than expected.

Second mistake: do not adapt the products to local customers

We are not speaking about upsetting the products. In many realities, it is enough to make small changes to the product to have considerably better success on the market. For example, the famous biscuit Oreo is less sweet in China than in the USA or Europe, because Chinese customers prefer less sweet biscuits.

Another example is the packaging, in the Far-East there are many more writings on the packaging, while in Europe the logo and the images are more in evidence.

However, to adapt the product to local customers is necessary to know them.

Third mistake: do not adapt the communication to local customer

The communication strategy has to be adapted to the local market.

To have better marketing results, it is proper to open a local website and local social accounts.

An option is to delegate the communication to the local distributor (if any), but it could be risky.

If you decide to manage directly the communication is important to make it professionally. You cannot translate with Google Translate your post on the social network. Google Translate is a very good tool, but sometimes it is not enough accurate in translating technical terms.

Another important topic is to decide what social channels would you like to use.

As you know Facebook/Instagram are not available in China. Chinese use other social like WeChat, and Weibo. 

Snapchat is mainly used in the USA, while in Europe it has never spread widely.

The most used social in Russia is VK, while Yandex is the most used search engine.

The question is: do you have the skills to manage professionally different platforms?

To conclude, the three mistakes described are only some of the mistakes that can be done in entering a new market. Every entrepreneur or manager can list several mistakes made in his/her export career.

After all, doing business involves making mistakes and continuously learning. We hope to have given you some food for thought.

Globartis Research

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