13 November 2017


#CBIGlobalGrowth Blog: understanding the local market

Colin Hewitt, Head of Commerical, Ward Hadaway on playing by the rules, to understanding the local market

#CBIGlobalGrowth Blog: understanding the local market

Here, Colin Hewitt, Head of Commercial at Ward Hadaway, sheds light on what activities businesses need to keep in mind when selling in another market. 

Trade relies on research. Before businesses enter a new market, they should have a detailed understanding of the legal requirements to operate there, and their own capacity to deal with the compliance involved. For instance, there’s a lot of documentation involved in exporting, from import licensing and order acknowledgements to insurance certificates and packing lists. Many companies end up doing less preparation than they do for local activity, but you simply cannot do too much!

The amount of resource - and risk - that a company needs to budget for can vary depending on the model that a firm uses to export. Distributors, for example, act as a third party who buys your goods and takes on the risk. Direct and internet sales require an understanding of shipping times, certificates, insurance and the ability to process payment securely. Meanwhile, franchises offer more flexibility than a simple distributor model, with less capital investment and more risk transfer to the franchisee.

With Brexit on the horizon, many companies will also be thinking about how to prepare for changes to the trading relationship closer to home. This might lead to the imposition of tariffs, customs checks, product safety regulations and other non-tariff barriers.

So what can companies do to prepare? Ward Hadaway advises: an audit of existing contracts; a review of supply chain alignment; discussions to clarify any uncertainty around territorial contract terms.