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Entrepreneur Q1 2022

How to build a successful Irish export business

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Anne Lanigan

Regional Director, Eurozone, Enterprise Ireland

Planning your export journey is key when it comes to export success. Follow our expert insights to ensure your exporting processes are successful.

Market selection

Start off by developing your exports one market at a time. Not all markets will be equally attractive or accessible for your product or service, so an important first step is to research a number of markets to identify the best fit for you.

Market research and validation

Once you have selected your new export market, it’s important to carry out deeper research to validate your decision. Use customer profiling, competitor analysis, pricing etc., also research  local factors, such as regulatory or cultural issues, that you should know in advance. Ideally this market research should be undertaken in the local language.

Build the value proposition of your product

A robust value proposition highlighting why a customer should buy your product is vital. This should clearly differentiate your product from your competitors’. However, a value proposition that resonates with Irish customers won’t necessarily have the same impact in a new market. Drawing on your market research you’ll need to reimagine your unique selling point (USP) with your new market in mind.

An important first step is to research a number of markets to identify the best fit for you.

Channel strategy and sales process

The right channel strategy is dependent on the nature of your product or service, expectations of potential customers and the business culture in the market.

Can you sell from Ireland? Or would an agent, distributor, reseller, or partner make more sense? Should you have your own sales team on the ground? Are online marketplaces an option? If the market is non-English speaking, language will also be an important consideration. You may decide to choose more than one channel. Successful companies don’t always rely exclusively on one route to market.

Likewise, to grow export sales, successful exporters operate a process that allows them to systematically build a pipeline of leads, develop these into business opportunities and ultimately deliver closed deals. This involves identifying the right potential clients and opportunities, cultivating strong relationships and demonstrating to potential customers how your solutions match their needs.

Enterprise Ireland is here to help

These are just some of the factors to consider when starting your exporting journey. Enterprise Ireland have the experience and expertise to help you on your way.

Visit our Global Ambition website globalambition.ie/exporting/ for more info, or get in touch on [email protected]

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