Gone are the days when the transactional activity of trading goods to international markets equates to immediate monetary value. The dynamic and changing nature of today’s environment has resulted in the need for businesses to change from a goods dominant perspective to a service dominant lens. That is, a perspective where goods are seen as rendering a service that results in the co-creation of value on behalf of both the organisation and consumer.
This is highlighted in exporting and pre export behaviour in particular – the stage where firms are most likely to fail or decide to withdraw from the internationalisation process. Businesses with the intention to export must be driven by the firm’s internal characteristics which must align with the external environment in which the business operates in. An understanding of the ins and outs of the current position of a business and the extent of the willingness to grow through international activities is essential.
To develop a long term and sustainable export strategy, a thorough understanding of appropriate markets must be identified which can be effectively achieved by managing and utilising key resources including:
The sayings ‘time is of the essence’ and ‘good things take time’ is reflected in their truest form when considering, planning and implementing an export strategy. To reap the rewards of exporting, it takes a lot of time that must be used wisely. As the process of exporting doesn’t happen overnight, time must be allocated as efficiently and effectively as possible which means minimising delays and taking action.
Human resources are a key competence to every aspect in life, including exporting. Competent people are not only those who can do what is required, but those who excel at what they do. They hold tacit knowledge, genuine passion, care, motivation and the intent to propose solutions while creating and sharing value for all stakeholders. Human resources hold the power of knowledge to make well informed exporting decisions – they are the fuel to keep you running.
Sometimes it’s who you know and the strength of weak ties that can results in a plethora of export opportunities. In an environment where continuous communication and connection is ubiquitous, networks and networking is more powerful and valuable than ever. The ability to create, maintain and utilise networks can be key to creating a competitive advantage.