A prima-facie market research for export-business

As excerpted from: Turner, Krista. Start Your Own Import/Export Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success (StartUp Series). Entrepreneur Press. Kindle Edition.

Market Research

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by market research tasks. Use these handy worksheets for preliminary assessments.

A. Product Market Research Worksheet

Make copies and use one for each product or service you’re considering. Then give each one a grade: Fantastic, Has Potential, or Not Such a Hot Idea (NSAHI). When you’ve completed several sheets, compare them, weed out the NSAHIs, start working on the Fantastics, and keep the Potentials on file for future reference.

 1. Name or description of product


2. What are the product’s selling features?


3. Are there competitive products? If so, list them:


4. What are their selling features?


5. What is the sales potential of the product or service in my target market?


6. What are comparably priced goods going for in my target market?


7. Who will be the end user of the product?


8. Is the population of potential end users large enough to have substantial sales?


9. Can I expand the market, or will I be taking a share of the existing market?


10. Is the existing market large enough to share?


11. Which elements have the most influence on potential customers or clients? Price, quality, brand name, “imported” cachet, service, credit terms, delivery terms, advertising, or marketing assistance?


12. Where can I buy this product?


13. Will I need to have it manufactured?


14. If so, what is the turnaround time for manufacturing, and will this influence sales?


15. What will be my cost for the product?


16. What variables will affect pricing (special packaging or marking requirements, special shipping requirements as for perishables, other variables)?


17. What are the potential problems that will contribute to my price, such as end-user unfamiliarity with the product or service?


18. What are the potential benefits that can contribute to my price, such as high demand for the product or service?


19. What is the potential for licensing?


 

Final grade: ο Fantastic ο Has Potential ο Not Such a Hot Idea

 

B.  Country Market Research Worksheet

Once you’ve done your product market research (or at the same time, if your market is intrinsic to product sales), move on to this worksheet. Again, use this handy checklist. Make copies and use one for each country you’re considering. Then give each one a grade: Fantastic, Has Potential, or Not Such a Hot Idea. When you’ve completed several sheets, compare them, weed out the NSAHIs, start working on the Fantastics, and keep the Potentials on file for future reference.

1. Why does this country have potential for my product or service?


2. How can I gain exposure in this country?


3. Will I need to travel abroad to find markets, conduct research, and find distributors, or can I do this at home via phone and the internet?


4. Will I encounter language barriers or difficulties?


5. What cultural differences will I need to account for?


6. How will I handle them?


7. What is the economic climate (on a national level— unemployment rates, inflation, or depression; on a personal level— disposable incomes, spending patterns)?


8. What is the sociological climate (urban and rural populations, literacy and educational levels, any special religious considerations)?


9. What is the political climate?


10. Will I experience any special shipping or handling problems because of geography or local customs? If so, what?


11. What trade channel will I use (direct sales, representative, distributor, or commission representative)?


12. How will I locate my trade channel people?


13. What are the country-specific problems that will contribute to my price, such as quotas, duties, or country regulations?


14. What are the country-specific benefits that can contribute to my price, such as duty-free or low trade barriers?


Final grade: ο Fantastic ο Has Potential ο Not Such a Hot Idea

—-end—-

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About Ramon H. Enriquez MIE&M, RME

Ramon H. Enriquez is a retired business executive who now spends his available time sharing his more than 35 years of industry experiences in the Philippines and abroad (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, and Switzerland) as an Independent Management Consultant and as a Professional Lecturer of leading Metro-Manila universities, on the various value-creation and strategy-execution topics that he now specializes: Supply-Chains, Operations, Quality, Enterprise-Projects, and Decision-support---their systems design and management, in particular. His affiliations with relevant leading global industry associations (APICS, CSCMP, PMI, INFORMS, ASQ, ISM among others) keeps him informed and updated on the current and future developments in the above-mentioned fields. He is a lifelong Systems Thinker/ Modeler, and an avid Micro-blogger. His hobby includes Digital-photography/ -graphics, Singing, Acoustic guitar playing, Songwriting, and Audio-recording/ -mixing. When not traveling, he normally spends his time at his Quezon City home-office with his wife, Gay; son, Dax; and dog, Brutus.
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