Choosing an export market

Before you dive in to exporting, you will need to define which markets best suit your business, or how you might tweak your business to suit a given market.

Successfully generating export sales means getting your business into a position that allows you to dominate a sector of the market.

For most New Zealand companies, this means starting small – focusing on just one market, or even one segment of that market. For example targeting the States would most likely be unrealistic. You may choose to target just California, or even just universities in California.

Remember that it is always easier to expand a niche than to scale down, so start with as narrow a target market as possible.

To choose the right market, you may need to:

  • find out who is most likely to want to purchase your product or service not just who could purchase
  • talk to people first-hand and gauge their reactions to what you have to offer
  • research online (for example, if you had a medical product, what does the medical system look like in your chosen country?)
  • understand the target country’s perceptions of New Zealand (for example, Australia sees us as a ‘little brother’ which can make it hard to be taken seriously)
  • establish whether you have connections in New Zealand or in your target market who can help you understand it better.


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