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Exporting: Will Your Product Succeed in Your Market of Choice?

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Once you have a good idea of what you want to export and where, you can fill out your picture of market conditions by answering questions like these:

1. Who will buy your product, and why?

2. What is the size of the market?

3. Who is your competition?

4. How new is the product to the market you have selected?

5. Are there growth opportunities in the market?

6. What do the country's demographic profile, economy and mass culture look like right now?

7. Are there demographic, economic, or cultural trends that will shape the market in the future?

8. Does the government help or hinder the sale of imported goods? For example, are there any barriers to entry or to sales within the market?

9. Will the country's climate or geography present logistical problems for sales of your product of choice -- for example, selling chocolates in Brazil?

10. Does the product have to be adapted to that market by way of a physical reconstruction, a new package or a change in servicing practices?

11. Does the product have the same use conditions in the international market as in the home market?

12. Does the product require personal after-sales service and, if so, can you provide it in the prospective market?

Use your own business sense and add to the list. Once you actually start research, more questions will arise. This is all part of the process of turning your vague ambitions into a concrete strategy based on market realities, so the more smart questions you ask and answer, the better your chances of success.

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