You have to understand will you be able to handle the exporting yourself until you have secured a few profitable international sales. Also you coul dconsider if there is someone in your company who could be quickly trained to handle routine exporting duties. Developing foreign markets usually takes longer than planned. Once you have accumulated sufficient revenue from exporting, you will be able to select a qualified trade specialist who can take over responsibility for the entire export division.
If this case it can be assumed that a company has enough cash to begin exporting but not enough to sustain a long-term marketing program. If company is relying on “projected” export revenues and profits to finance short-term export operations and future expansion into new foreign markets, it is an unwise approach that will probably result in failure. The projections could be wrong. Ans company could find itself in a need of immediate cash. If the company is unable to respond with an injection of capital, it may be forced to close down the export operations and absorb the loss of initial investment. It can be suggested to consider seriously delaying decision to export until enough capital is accumulated to be a long-term player in world markets.
The most common mistakes made by most of the companies that have not succeeded in exporting, regardless of their country, product or service, are:

  • Faile to develop an international marketing plan before beginning to export;
  • Total commitment lack of top management in the initial stages of exporting;
  • Too quickly selection  of overseas representatives without thorough investigation;
  • Chase orders around the world instead of using a systematic marketing plan;
  • Neglecte a new export customers when domestic market booms;
  • Faile to treat international and domestic representatives on an equal basis;
  • Refuse to modify products to meet foreign regulations and local preferences;
  • A lack of print sales, service and warranty messages in local languages;
  • Refuse to use export management companies (EMC) in more less promising markets;
  • Faile to consider licensing or joint venture agreements in more restrictive markets.


This is a mistake made by too many new exporters. They tend to select countries that are close to saturation with products that are similar and identical to theirs. While it is more comfortable to know that they will be exporting to well-established markets, they are not prepared for the fierce battles that will follow with entrenched competitors who will not give up their local market share without a fight. This potentially combative situation could result in ever-decreasing product prices and profit margins, and a premature and costly exit from the export market.
An alternative marketing approach is to select export markets based upon their NEED for your products. In many instances, this means penetrating markets where little, or none of your type of products has been sold in the local market. While the risk is higher, so is the profit potential. It will require a more intensive advertising and promotional campaign to educate local customers about the benefits of your products and why they should buy them (possibly for the first time).
The difference between primary and secondary international research is the proximity of the research to the foreign market as follows:

Primary research is undertaken inside the foreign country through personal interviews, surveys, and other methods of direct contact with potential customers and representatives. A major advantage of primary research is that questions can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the seller. For that reason, it is often used by suppliers who intend to sell their products directly to local customers without using export sales representatives. However, collecting, compiling and interpreting the data requires a considerable amount of time and money. It can be too costly and time-consuming for smaller companies.

Secondary research involves collecting market information indirectly from outside sources, i.e., government reports, published trade statistics, academic studies, and private surveys. There is always a risk involved in secondary market research, i.e., collection methods may be flawed, the data may be incomplete, analysis procedures may be incorrect, or dates on the reports may be recent but the information itself is obsolete. Because it is less costly and quicker than primary market research, it is often used by smaller companies, especially those who plan to sell their products through export sales representatives within the foreign market.


Advertising for international sales representatives at trade shows is done quite often, and it can be very successful. It depends upon the type of trade show and where it takes place. If it is a general merchandise trade show, the probability of encountering qualified foreign agents and distributors is low. If advertise is gheald to display products at an industry-specific trade show, it greatly increases the probability of meeting qualified export sales representatives. Foreign agents and distributors attend major international trade shows on a regular basis looking for products they can sell profitably in their domestic markets.
The answer to this question will depend upon the laws of the country in which the cancellation takes place. In many countries, a representation contract can be terminated relatively easily. However, in other countries, it can be very costly and time-consuming to sever a business relationship with an agent or distributor.It could be required by local law to compensate the representative for a portion of the original investment, promotional money spent in advance to secure future sales, and the projected income they would have earned during the remaining period of the contract.

Because business customs and laws vary in different countries, it is important to present representation contracts to an international attorney who is knowledgeable of the laws and regulations of the country in which the products will be sold. While doing so will be more expensive in the initial stages, it is a sound business investment which could save a large amount of money to a company fighting litigation in foreign courts.


The  basic types of export sales representatives are:

  • Commissioned Export Sales Agents (often referred to as export brokers);
  • Export Management Companies (EMCs),
  • Export Trading Companies (ETCs);
  • Full Stocking Distributors.

Before decide which types of export sales representatives use, it is suggestable to answer the following questions:

  • Through what channels are similar products being sold in your export markets?
  • How much capital do you have and what financial risks are you willing to assume?
  • What degree of control do you want to retain over the marketing of your products?
  • When do you want your representatives to take title and physical possession of your products?
  • When, how and from whom do you want to receive payment for your export sales?


It is important to regard export budgets and forecasts as tools which enables to evaluate past performance, make necessary adjustments, and establish new sales and profit goals for the company. If the export is just started, it is advisable to monitor budgets and forecasts weekly. The periods between monitoring sessions can be lengthen as performance improves. Export representatives who are not producing should be contacted and discussed how can sales be improved. Monitoring report should be broken down by country, number of units, monetary values, and current month and year-to-date sales figures. Individual categories should include products in process and delivered, orders approved or awaiting approval, and payments received and pending.
The final customer in the foreign market ultimately pays legal and banking fees. However, they are usually handled differently in the invoicing process:

  • Legal fees are estimated in advance by the exporter and are included in the purchase price. They may include legal counsel to review contracts, to ensure compliance with export licensing requirements, and to protect the exporter against violation of intellectual property rights. Legal fees are paid by the seller and the buyer does not know the estimated amount for these fees;
  • Banking fees are usually known in advance of the sale and are added to the price quotation/ proforma invoice to the buyer as a separate item. They are usually for processing of shipping and financial documents. Banks act as financial intermediaries between the buyer and seller in export transactions. The buyer knows the amount of the banking fees prior to placing the order.
Public relations in foreign markets can be very costly for a small company. Unless a serious situation develops in one of the export markets, it is recommend to postpone spending money on public relations until export sales and profits have reached a rather high level.

It could be asked export sales representatives to act as public relations arm. They may already be using an advertising or public relations firm that can provide this service to them at a relatively low cost. It is to their financial benefit to make certain that company and its products enjoy the most favorable image in the local market.

In return for their cooperation, export sales representatives should be keeped up-to-date on all important changes in products, personnel and corporate policies, with sending  them copies of issued public relations releases.

It will almost always be more effective if products are advertised and promoted in the language of the export market. However, if translators are not totally familiar with the current oms and word usages in the export market, words and phrases with multiple meanings could seriously damage the image of company and products.
It may be cheaper and less risky to have advertising and promotional materials translated by locals within the export market. If export sales representatives are used, it can be asked them to arrange for and supervise the translation. It is important to specify who will pay for these services, and whether the final translated materials must be submitted in advance for approval.