Assuming that your business is only selling in the domestic market, then you’re missing out not only on the big opportunity that growth brings with it but also on bigger profits. In fact, with more than 1.2billion consumers living in Africa – a number which is said to expand to a whopping 1.7 billion by 2030, you have every reason to expand your business to Africa.
Here are 10 steps to help you do just that:
Step 1: Create a game plan
Since you have decided to go global, you have to do some kind of market analyses and planning for success in world markets. There are other irritants – such as customs duties, currency conversion, and logistics – which you also need to factor it. However, in case you feel overwhelmed, a internet research will provide you some hints that can help you start the journey.
Step 2: Pinpoint what you want to sell
It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s still worth repeating that in addition to having a product or service that you want to sell overseas, you need to have a market for the same as well. That means that even if your product or service has a domestic market, you should make sure that consumers all over Africa are also attracted to what you have to offer.
Step 3: Come up with an export plan
Depending on the country you might be living right now, you could use a Basic Guide to Exporting to prepare an export plan. From licensing requirements to logistics and pricing strategies to custom duties, this guide has the answers to all the questions that might be troubling your mind.
Step 4: Carry out market analysis
Whether you rely on primary (direct) or secondary (indirect) form of research, it is imperative for you to determine the top destinations for your products or services. Other areas which your research must cover include duties, taxes, and price competitiveness of your product and potential distribution channels.
Step 5: Conduct market segmentation
How many potential customers can your business attract in a given country? What strategies it could use to make them aware of its presence? Questions such as these will be answered once you have carried out the market segmentation of the countries that you intend to target.
Step 6: Weigh your competition
As you might already know, the market which you’re intending to target would have a lot of other businesses offering (almost) the same product as yours. Therefore, before you make your first move, analyze your competitors in the potential market. One way you can do that is by taking help from this Import/Export Kit.
Step 7: Check out the regulatory, packaging or labeling requirements
Most people don’t know but the “Made in the USA” label isn’t acceptable in all countries of Africa. Instead, most countries want foreign businesses to label products in their native language. Other than that, you might also want to know whether the country has any special labeling requirements for the products or services that you intend to sell.
Step 8: Market your product through trade shows
As you’re doing market research, another way to test the waters is to present your product in an industry trade fair. Most African countries have trade fairs in which foreign investors pitch in their ideas to check whether or not the public has any interest in them.
Step 9: Test your product in an easy-to-target market
In case you’re wondering, markets which are easy-to-target have three traits in common: they erect lower barriers to entry for foreign businesses, they have lax regulatory requirements and they have less bureaucratic red-tapeism.
Step 10: Turn to government agencies for help
Since you’re going to target an investor-friendly country, you can get low-cost or free resources from the government agencies of the same. Prepare a list of resources which you can get, and then approach the institutions for the same. Doing that will let you get your hands on invaluable market-specific resources which you can use to expand your business.