When it comes to growth, selecting the right market is key. There are a number of market analyses which can explore the opportunities for growth, and which markets might be good to do business in.

When it comes to starting to sell overseas, one of the most obvious questions is ‘where to?’

There are a number of reasons why companies start selling into the international markets they do. You may already know distributors there or you sell there because that’s where you are receiving most orders. You may even sell into a particular country simply because it’s one you like travelling to.

However, it’s incredibly important to have clear strategic reasons for selecting a particular market, because choosing the wrong market could set your business back in costs, time invested, and wasted resources. If you sell to Brazil because it’s a country you’re fond off but you have no ability to translate your offering into Portuguese or understanding of the business culture for getting paid there, you could end up spending loads of money sending your goods over there without enough customers paying you on time to make any money from it.

There are various factors that can make a market more strategically viable for your business. From language spoken, to cultural appetite for your goods, to cost in tariffs, to the amount of export documentation you’re required to complete. There are many things which add different costs to selling into a market and which shape the demand for your goods in that market.

One thing that might help you evaluate a business case is to fill a market weighting table. This allows you to rate out of 10 your company’s internal skills or abilities in general for different aspects of trade, like translation, documentation, legal and so on. You then evaluate your capacity to cover these aspects in relation to three or four of your shortlisted markets. This will then give you an overall score of how capable you are to sell into each market, with the greatest score the one you are best prepared to sell into at that moment.

It’s a simple tool to help you see the wood through the trees and give clear and logical reasoning towards the prioritisation of the different markets you want to sell into. It’s part of the Open to Export ‘Export Action Plan tool‘ – an online planning tool that covers all the different aspects of exporting – and it’s a key task when going about creating a thorough and coherent export strategy.