Exporting - an overview

Planning to export?

Before you commit to exporting you need to honestly assess your export potential - both in terms of the readiness of your business and of your product or service.

It's essential to carry out detailed market research to identify and evaluate the target market. Examine:

  • the industry structure
  • the predicted demand for your product or service
  • competition and how you plan to fit into that marketplace
  • any modifications required to make your product or service saleable

The UK Trade & Investment Accessing International Markets programme can provide support and help in planning your entry into new overseas markets, including market research. Find out about growing your business internationally on the UK Trade & investment website.

After completing your market research, you can draw up an export plan defining how you will enter the new market.

Consider whether you have:

  • a marketing strategy that incorporates international trade development
  • the necessary financial resources
  • the right people to develop the new export markets
  • adequate knowledge of the requirements of your chosen market - eg modifying packaging to meet local regulations and standards
  • an understanding of export payment mechanisms and export finance

Then assess whether your product is suitable for export. Consider:

  • product standards and regulations in the overseas market - the British Standards Institution offers help for exporters
  • the costs of adapting your product or service

UK Trade & Investment offers practical help with your ability to export. See the page in this guide on Developing Your International Trade Potential.

You can also:

Use our interactive tool to identify what you need to know to export to your target country.

Watch a video on exporting goods or services for the first time on the Growth and Improvement Service.

Subjects covered in this guide


UK Trade & Investment Enquiry Line

020 7215 8000

BSI Helpline

020 8996 9001

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Department for International Trade