Key Success Factors to Consider for Exporters

16 August 2022

Success factors represent the basic ingredients or pre-requisites required to succeed. Your company may have attained these key success factors over the years of your business operations and possibly before you have ever thought about the idea of exporting.

These factors will improve your chance of succeeding in your intended export business. In the real world, we need to acknowledge that not all exporters are blessed with these success factors.

One of the ways you should be able to analyse and determine your company’s success factors are when you conduct the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Typically, here are some of the key success factors in global business.

Company’s Foundation and Performance
  • A company with an existing and sound domestic market coupled with a strong financial foundation is ideal. It makes that company’s export venture much more likely to succeed.
USP – Unique Selling Proposition
  • Products that are suitable for export, especially one that has a very good track record in the domestic market or a product that has outstanding USP generally tends to have a better chance of succeeding in the export market. A USP could be in the form of a company’s strength in Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
USP and Benefits
  • The USP of a product is the benefit that the customers can acquire or perceive as obtainable by using a particular product or service. For example, benefits like being able to extend a person’s life expectancy or wealth creation, happiness, beauty and convenience are important motivators that inspire and drive customers to buy only certain products.
USP of Active Manuka Honey
  • To cite another example, if you sell New Zealand’s world famous Manuka honey, the USP is obviously the health benefits derived from consuming the honey. Consumers want the benefits of health and wellness in the first place, not really the honey itself!
USP of The Spa Bath
  • Consumers do not want to buy the spa; instead they want the benefits of using the spa e.g. its therapeutic benefits, stress relief and possibly intimate and romantic feelings its use can generate. Your product must be able to convey the distinctive benefits for your particular target group that other products do not have. USP gives the product the uniqueness and hence the product differentiation.
USP of Motor Vehicle
  • Safety and status are yet other examples of USP when consumers are adamant about buying  ONLY  a specific make of motor vehicles.
  • Benefits sell, not the features. Generally customers are not really interested in your product features; rather they are interested in the benefits of your products or services.
Finance and Funding Growth
  • A company with a strong financial foundation is at an advantage and is more likely to succeed. Alternatively, it must have the ability to access financial resources to fund the additional investment required in both the working capital and in capital expenditure.
  • Companies that are unable to raise the necessary funds when required are unlikely to grow, irrespective of whether they are engaged in either export or domestic business.
Technical Know-how and “Technical-Know-Who”
  • Social networking or “technical-know-who” contributes greatly, especially in generating sales leads and closing deals. This asset would have been developed over the years by the owners or management of the company. A company with ready and valuable contacts to tap on obviously has an easier road to success.
  • In addition to the above, the lack of information or knowledge can make export ventures much more uncertain, troublesome and risky to undertake.
Management Commitment, Attitude and Orientation
  • The relationship that you establish in an export market will normally take time to mature. Therefore, the management and owners have to be prepared to take this into account and to stay committed throughout the course.
  • It is also essential for the management to continue with the agreed plan with on-going marketing planning and research, seeking advice from both within and outside the organisation.
  • Unfortunately, there are no straightforward or scientific formula to answer how long the period will be for the much awaited export order.
  • The above is one of the analyses that aspiring exporters should undertake in the first place. A company that is seriously lacking in the pre-requisites for exporting should reconsider their plans to export, at least until it has some or most of the key success factors.

Excerpt from The Exporting and International Trade by AB Teoh.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2008 to 2020 @AB Teoh.

Follow Us

This website is mobile responsive and best viewed in Google Chrome and Safari.

Latest Update

Success Stories

Credit Takaful & Insurance