Pop quiz: Global gumption

Written by Allan Britnell

There are billions of potential customers beyond our borders. But are you equipped to fish in international waters? Take this test of your export readiness.

Answer True (T) or False (F) to each of the following questions:

My company…

1. Has a management team that’s fully committed to dealing with the implications of exporting.

2. Has pinpointed and researched specific overseas markets for its products.

3. Has an exportable product that is among the market leaders at home.

4. Is ISO-certified and has a product that can be easily adapted to foreign requirements (e.g., 220-volt electricity).

5. Has excess manufacturing capacity and could easily add more.

6. Has a secure, stable supply line for parts and raw materials, none of which are restricted in our target market (e.g., Cuban components in products intended for sale in the U.S.).

7. Has generated interest among agents, wholesalers and/or retailers in foreign markets.

8. Has generated interest among reliable shipping and warehousing companies in the necessary locales.

9. Has staff with the linguistic, cultural and technical skills to do business in foreign markets.

10. Has investigated the financial aspects and burdens of exporting (e.g., taxes, accounts receivable insurance).


Take one point for each “True” answer.If your total is…

8 to 10: Ramp up production. Your product is ready to fly off shelves from Australia to Zaire.

4 to 7: With a little more work you may soon be sending product abroad.

0 to 3: Consider investing more in domestic sales.

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