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Your guide to exporting

Are you planning on exporting?

Here is a simple guide to help you with your plans for exporting, whether it is for personal or for business.

As we have all seen, our global market continues to evolve and expand every day so do businesses everywhere. In today’s modern era, a lot of businesses are expanding into new foreign markets.

If you are considering growing your business in foreign markets, there might be a series of questions that comes to mind, and the biggest question is, where to start? 

Today, we will focus on the basics that will help starters and those that are new to exporting to help simplify the process and provide an understanding of how to export goods.

First, let’s understand what is exporting:


Exports are a component of international trade. They're the goods and services bought by a country's residents that are produced by a foreign nation. Governments encourage exports because they increase revenues, jobs, foreign currency reserves, and liquidity.

EXPORTING – Ups and Downs

Advantages of exporting:

- Access to a global market of buyers

- Increased profits

- Risk mitigation

- Government support - Financial assistance programs

Disadvantages of exporting:

- Disruptions in supply chains – This has been proven during the high of Covid 19 Pandemic which shows how delays can become a serious risk to any business.

- High up-front costs

- Export licenses and documentation

- Product adaptation

All businesses have the amazing opportunity to expand internationally, and to ensure you are ready to export, there are several steps that must be taken according to Chamber International:

1. Decide where to sell

This is the first thing you will need to do to strengthen your foundation on exporting. It’s as simple as being on the right place at the right time. So go ahead and look up the demographics, cultural and religious practices, and your potential competition on those countries you wanted to expand to.

2. Have a plan

Now that you have learned about the countries you are exporting to, it is very important to mapped out your strategies. You can never go wrong with always having a plan B-Z if things go south (If you are a tarter always expect it, lol).

Your export plan should include:

Your People

Can someone from your team drive this programme or do you need to recruit?

Your Capacity

Do you have enough capacity to meet a new market’s demands? Do you need to upscale?

Your Packaging

Will your packaging design appeal to your market? Is there a legal requirement to label things differently or do you need to translate your labelling?

Your Knowledge

Visit your potential new market. Showcase your products at trade fairs and build new contacts.

3. Choose a route to market

You can do one of four options:

1. Sell directly

2. Use a distributor

3. Use a sales agent

4. Create a joint venture.

Whichever option you chose, you must ensure clarity of responsibility for things like delivery and payment and ALWAYS remember to protect your intellectual property.

4. Find the opportunities

Trade fairs are one of the best ways to find opportunities. This where you can potentially meet buyers and generate new business.

5. Start marketing

Adverts can help you gain exposure but can be expensive. Another option is to create a website with content translated according to your target market. Global social media sites such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter can also help you to promote your message quickly and free of charge. Although these do not cost anything to set up, they need time invested to keep updated. Whatever you use, make sure all your marketing materials have up-to-date contact details for your company along with the person responsible for export sales.

6. Get paid and get insured

Once the orders start to come in, you need to be paid. This is where your understanding with the following would come in:


Internationally agreed rules setting out delivery terms for goods traded across borders. Buyer and seller agree details on the terms of sale to prevent misunderstandings or disputes. Incoterms set out responsibility for the cost of transporting goods, insurance, taxes or duties, pick up points, destinations, and responsibility for the goods at each stage.

Export documentation

Get the right documents to enter the market. Documentation is at the very heart of exporting, without it there is no contract, no transport, and no payment. The requirements vary from country to country.

Written quotations

A written quotation must set out the details of your product including the size and packaging formats, as well as any potential additional cost for providing export labelling and packaging which you may be charging on to the customer. Setting out the price and delivery terms (incoterms), the estimated date of shipment on arrival and payment terms and conditions is vital to avoid any disputes further down the line. Late, or non-payment of bills is a risk and insurance could be a consideration. Any new customers requesting a form of trade credit need a credit check. An irrevocable letter of credit could be advised which will secure payments according to the terms of the credit and at an agreed rate. Make sure you are insured for your goods during transportation. We can help with this!

7. Legal considerations

Understanding the legal and regulatory environment in all countries to which you would like to export is vital.

8. Transport logistics

Now you’ve made the sale and agreed the terms, you must get the goods there! We at Image international can help you for all your freight, cartage, customs clearance and insurance internationally, call us today on +61 2 9773 1378 to discuss your requirements and obtain a quote.


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