Assess your Export Readiness


While there are exceptions to every rule, export veterans and trade specialists know that certain factors make the preparation to international markets easier, faster and less risky. To test your “export-ability”, answer the following questions and then check your score:


1.  Is your product or service already available? (Select A, B or C)
A. Currently in production ___
B. At the prototype stage ___
C. At the idea stage only  ___

2  Is your product or service current selling in your domestic market?
A. Currently selling, and market share is growing  ___
B. Currently selling, but market share is low ___
C. Currently selling, but in only one city  ___

3. Do you have the surplus production capacity or available specialists to meet increased demand for your product or service?
Yes___   No___

4. Do you have the financing required to adapt your product or service to suit your target market and to promote it?
A. Financing is in place ___
B. Financing is being arranged ___
C. No financing is available ___


5. Is management committed to sustaining your export effort?
Yes___    No___

6. Does your firm have a good track record of meeting deadlines?
Yes___   No___

7. Does management have experience in export markets?
Yes___   No___


8. Does your product or service have a distinct competitive advantage (quality, price, uniqueness, innovation) over your competition?
Yes___ No___

9. Have you adapted your packaging, labelling and or promotional materials for your target market?
Yes___ No___’

10. Do you have the capacity and resources to provide after-sales support and service in your target market?
Yes___ No___

11. Do you have a Free on Board (FOB) or Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) price list for your product, or a rate list for your service?
Yes___ No___

12. Have you undertaken any foreign market research?
A. Completed primary and secondary market research, including a visit to the target market ___
B. Completed some primary and secondary market research ___
C. Completed no research___

13. Is your promotional material available in the language of your target markets? (Business cards, brochures, and web-site?)
Yes___ No___

14. Have you started marketing your product or service in your target market?
Yes___ No___

15. Have you engaged the services of a sales representative/distributor / agent or broker?
Yes___ No___

16. Have you hired a freight forwarder or customs broker?
Yes___ No___


If you responded with “A” and/or “Yes” to a combined total of more than 12 of the questions, congratulations! You understand the commitment, strategies and resources needed to be a successful exporter. At the very least, you have the foundation in place to take on the world and succeed.

7 – 11: Not bad, but there seem to be areas of weakness in your export strategy. It may be wise to seek advice and guidance from government experts, export consultants or the international trade branch or your financial institution.

Less than 7: While you may be ready to visit faraway lands, you will need to do a little more homework before you export.