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Export Tips

Export Solutions has published more than 250 articles on Export Strategy and building international businesses through distributor networks. We source Best Practices and inspiration from more than 300 Distributor Search projects across five continents. Our goal is to help the industry by providing practical commercial guidance to translate Export dreams to tangible brand presence on the shelves of supermarkets in 96 Countries.

Small Countries Deliver Big Business

Are you selling more to Ireland,Iceland, or India ?Small countries depend on others for their food supply requirements. They offer solid business opportunities with lower complexity. Learn how to leverage these countries to buold your export business through Small Countries Deliver Big Business. ...

Distributors: 15 Tips for Winning the Big Brand Interview

Export Solutions participates in 100 distributor interviews per year. Many distributors ask...What are big brands looking for  ?How do we prepare for our presentation ? What will it take to win the business ?See Export Solutions 15 tips for Winning the Big Brand Interview  ...

CEO Update: Ten Tips to Impress the Boss

Every manager spends hours preparing senior management presentations. What happens when you get called to see the CEO “right away”? The obvious question is “How is it going”? Export Solutions shares our 10 Tips to “impress the boss”. ...

Where to Play, How to Win 2018

What countries can deliver game changing results in 2018 ? How do we achieve our objectives despite challenging business conditions ? Read Export Solutions 10 winning strategies for export development in 2018. ...

Export Express Summer 2017

Feature Export Express articles include : New Channels, New Customers , What Distributors Like ( and Don't Like),and 10 Tips on Reducing Export Diverting. Read the Summer 2017 issue of Export Express. ...

SELECT Your Distributors ,Do NOT Let your Distributors Select You

How many emails a week do you receive from "distributors" wishing to represent your brand ? Why are you surprised when you search these companies on the internmet to discover that there is no information or a web site "under construction" ? Do you really believe that the most powerful distributors are waiting in line at trade shows or sped dialing export man ...

Ten Tips: Connect with Distributor's CEO

Many exporters spend 80% of their interaction with their "brand manager " at a distributor.  Contacts with the CEO or managing director may be limited to a 30 minute meeting during a market visit or a phone call when something goes wrong. Brand managers represent the day to day master of details for your business. However the CEO controls the purse stri ...

Ten Tips: How to Minimize Listing Fee Payments

Slotting allowances, listing fees or as the Irish say “Hello “ money are all real estate rental fees charged in advance by retailers for access to their limited shelf space. Store owners seek to obtain maximum productivity from each self facing and fixed entry fees are a tactic to gain immediate income from new products without an established con ...

Retailer Benefits: Purchase from Local Distributors

Retailers primary objective is to maintain in stock conditions to maximize sales. Purchasing from local distributors offers retailers significant benefits ( like 48 hour delivery) versus purchasing via direct import from overseas manufacturers. Read Export Solutions 10 Tips on the benefits of purchasing from local distributors. ...

Ten Tips-Fast Start 2018

Many brand owners are cautious about 2018 shipment expectations. 2017 was a good year for many, but there is political and economic turbulence all over the map: Saudi Arabia,South Korea, Turkey, Brasil and the USA. December represents a perfect time to establish your personal “Fast Start” game plan. Read our Ten Tips below to secure a good beginn ...

Ten Tips: Export Failures and Lessons Learned

What are the major reasons that export initiatives fail? The chief reason is that manufacturers obtain a case of “international amnesia” and forget the fundamental steps that are required to build a brand in any country: Research, Marketing, Investment, and Selecting the right sales partner. Listed below are Export Solutions Ten Tips on why expo ...

Brand Parents - Launching your Baby

Good news you finally received the first container order from a far flung, highly populated, Asian country. With product registration nearing completion, your brand should be on the shelf in 90 days. But what is your plan ? My experience is that many companies devote significant energy to finding a good distributor, completing paperwork requirements, and get ...

Ten Tips:Action Steps for Poor Performing Countries

Every exporter has countries where their brand performance lags far behind expectations and market potential. This appears as a serious issue when the poor results are in a large strategic country like the USA or China. The first step to fixing the situation is to admit that you have a problem. Too many times , export managers loyally cling to their plan and ...

Six Questions Regarding Your Distributor Pricing Calculation

Pricing is a critical element of our marketing strategy. The "calculation" defines all pricing inputs from a designated port to the retail store shelves. Brand owners and distributors invest significant energy developing a pricing model during initial negotiations. My experience reveals that the calculation tends to drift  over time, fluctuating from th ...

Ten Tips-Improving Market Visit Productivity

You can usually spot an export manager in the fast track lane at airport security with the Diamond level frequent flier card and bulging passport. Many of us spend half of our business lives on the road , serving as roving brand ambassadors for the brands that we represent. Our friends envy this glamorous life, little do they know how punishing it is to take ...

Ten Tips- Best Practices for Using Consolidators

Most companies partner with consolidators(also known as Export Management Companies)  to source incremental business from tough to reach geographies. Consolidators are local companies that groups different products from one country into one container. The consolidator then sells to a list of customers that may include distributors and retailers. Consoli ...

Ten Tips: Credit Terms - What's Fair ?

It's fun to talk about brand building and entry into foreign markets. Shipments are great, but getting paid on time is the most critical element with your distributor partnerships. Financial issues can disrupt a business relationship quickly. Unfortunately, many situations are "out of the distributors control" and related to overall country practices versus ...

Ten Tips: Your Company Credentials Presentation

Distributors are flooded with requests for representation of brands from around the world. Normally, these presentations are jammed with pretty photos and long stories about the companies history. Brands will receive better response with a fact based, company credentials presentation focused on "What Distributors and Buyers really want to know". Export Solut ...

Ten Tips: Distributor Interview Preparation and Insights

Distributor interviews can be compared to a first date. There is no second date after a bad first date, even if both parties are interested in each other. On the other hand, a good distributor first interview can lead to a lifelong relationship. Listed below are Export Solutions ten tips on enhancing the productivity of your distributor interview process. 1 ...

10 Questions for Every Distributor Interview

1. Company History  How long have you been in business ? Who are the owners ? How many direct, "payrolled" employees do you have? Approximate annual sales volume ? 2.   Company Brand Portfolio  What are your top 10 companies/brands represented ? For which channels do you represent each brand ? How long have you represented each  bra ...

Ten Tips- Changing Distributors the Right Way

Changing distributors is a messy business, filled with hurt feelings, business disruption, and legal implications. The good news is that when you have transitioned to a new distributor, you will benefit from the enthusiasm and commitment of a highly motivated new partner. Recapped below are Export Solutions Ten Tips for managing the process of changing distr ...

Ten Tips – Export Success Stories – Lessons Learned

What works ? Export sales are an important growth driver for many companies. However, there is a clear distinction between those brands which have built vibrant export businesses and brands which have largely failed to gain presence outside their home country. Common advice I give our clients is to think of the requirements for a new brand to enter their hom ...

Is your Brand the Best ? Ten Tips Checklist

Each year, Export Solutions fields hundreds of inquiries from brands looking for help finding international distributors. Our readers will not be surprised to hear that each brand owner declares that his product is the "best". These claims are rarely supported by independent research or focus groups. In reality, shoppers vote at supermarkets every day on the ...

Ten Tips: Achieve Preferred Supplier Status

A natural goal is to achieve "Preferred Supplier Status" with retailers and your distributors. Satisfied trading partners generate superior results. It is highly desirable to achieve formal or informal recognition as a "Preferred Supplier". Listed below are 15 tips to be viewed as a "Preferred Supplier" with your distributors and retail customers. 1. Invest ...

Ten Tips: Maximizing Trade Show Productivity

Everyone loves a trade show. Where else can you rent a booth and witness lines of customers and distributors waiting to see you to talk about your brands ? Trade shows represent sizable investments and valuable booth time can be wasted with non-productive meetings.  Read our Ten Tips to maximize your trade show productivity. 1. Create Sign : Distribut ...

Ten Tips: A Professional Approach to Store Checks

Many brands source 80 percent of sales or more from the shelf. However, most export manager market visits include only a quick trip to a store by the airport or distributors office. Formal retail checks  may be highly orchestrated, with some sales teams pre-selecting and beautifying stores in advance . This creates a favorable, but unrealistic view of a ...

Ten Tips: Translating Export Inquiries into Incremental Sales

Export managers are overwhelmed with phone calls and emails from companies desiring to sell their brands. Some proposals are worth evaluating, as we all seek incremental sales in new countries. Other requests originate from diverters or  "time wasters" who do not have sufficient capabilities or financing to commercialize your brand. Export Solutions has ...

Ten Tips: Sourcing New Sales from Old Markets

Exporters love the thrill  of creating plans to conquer new markets. The reality is that our annual sales quota is dependent on driving new sales from our existing markets and distributors. This appears as a challenge in a low growth country or mature category, particularly if you are not blessed with baskets of money to invest in brand support activiti ...

Ten Tips-Increased Distributor Focus on Your Brands

Quarterly MBO Meeting with Distributor Senior Management-One of the most effective tools for increased focus is to create a regular process for Distributor senior management engagement in your business. The Management By Objective (MBO) system (or similar approaches) allows you to meet quarterly on a pre-planned schedule to review past quarter performance ...

Web 2.0 Your New Export Sales Partner

Savvy exporters deploy new web based tactics to identify new distributors and connect with global consumers. Most companies maintain a basic web site featuring an “international section”, but few sites are designed to promote export sales. Listed blow are Export Solutions “Ten Tips” to unleash the power of Web 2.0 to drive new busines ...

Export Solutions Distributor Lists : Best Practices

Distributor Specialization: View the “comments” field of each distributor listing for clues on Distributor category specialization and brands represented. Web Site: Visit distributors web sites for more company information. No web site listing indicates a smaller distributor. Export Solutions subscribers enjoy ”one click, live access&rdq ...

Fixing the Problem: Small Shipments to Big Countries - Ten Tips

Selling more to Bermuda and Bahamas versus Brazil ? More business in Hong Kong than China ? Join the club. The long road to BRIC success is filled with dangerous curves and uncertain junctions. "Low hanging fruit" opportunities in these countries have long disappeared replaced by a scrum of category combatants from all corners of the world wrestling for mar ...

Ten Tips: Making a Global Brand Local

International brands find a natural audience overseas with homesick expatriates missing their favorite Oreo cookies, PG Tips tea or Kuchenmeister cakes. "Ethnic" favorites must move beyond their base business as a niche American, Italian, or German product into the mainstream to achieve ambitious growth targets. Adoption as a local brand rewards the manufact ...

Ten Barriers to Export Success

International strategy always looks logical in the board room. Many companies demonstrate a strong track record of success penetrating their home market and perhaps adjacent countries. Success stories out number failures, but there are "Lessons Learned" that can help manufacturers avoid costly mistakes. Listed below are our Ten Barriers to Export Success. D ...

Ten Tips: International Expansion on a Shoestring Budget

Stretching thin marketing budgets is a job requirement for most Export Managers. Listed below are “Ten Tips” for brand building on a “ Budget”. 1. Tap into Government Export ProgramsMany countries sponsor strong trade organizations that can aid your export development program. Exports translate to jobs and most countries have well es ...

Ten Tips - Time for a Distributor Change

Changing distributors is a last resort but a necessary step in some situations. Consistent under-performers impact your ability to achieve your own assigned objectives and bonus plans. The financial crisis of the last two years has exposed the short comings of lagging distributors. In some cases, shipment objectives are being met, but the brand owner and dis ...

Ten Tips – Preparing for the Recovery

What recovery you are asking if you live in Russia,Brasil or  Greece? On the other hand, Asia and the Middle East are enjoying good growth and it appears that the USA, Germany, and most of Europe are poised for a better 2016. It’s true that while shipment trends have stabilized for many, that a prediction of a global upturn may be premature. Liste ...

Ten Tips- Distributor Compensation Analysis

Everyone knows their own salary. But have you given much thought to your compensation structure for your distributor partners? Distributor compensation is often a “murky” issue, buried in a calculation created years ago focused on a combination of distributor margin plus other income for services rendered. Brand leaders periodically review their ...

Ten Tips to Derail Export Diverting

1. Conduct Extensive Due Diligence on all new customers/distributors particularly in high risk countries. This includes reference checks from existing manufacturer clients as well as from leading retailers in his home country. Visit each new distributor’s office and warehouse to calibrate the size of his business with other principals. Each new candida ...

Ten Tips- Managing a Credit Crisis

2016 challenges signal that some will be content with shipments only slight aheadof 2015 as a preferred alternative versus the negative growth numbers experienced in other sectors. Still, our industry is not immune to the crisis with savvy exporters sorting out problems in Greece,Russia and V enezuela. New issues percolating include potential China slowdown ...

Ten Tips for Turbulent Times

Brace yourself for a tough year in 2016. Consumer goods/food producers face a better outlook than our peers in other industries. Tight spending consumers will focus on replenishment of staples and home cooked meals versus premium products and restaurant dining. Listed below are Export Solutions “Ten Tips for Turbulent Times”. 1. Track consumptio ...

Ten-Tips: New Country Expansion Prioritization

There are 196 countries in the world. How many is your company selling to ? International expansion to new countries is a strategic imperative for most exporters. The challenge is to determine which countries will deliver the greatest financial return for your investment of time and resources. Listed below are “Ten Tips” to facilitate new country ...