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3 ways market research helps your export business succeed


Finding an international market to sell a product or service can sometimes feel like looking for a light switch in the middle of a dark room. If you aren’t sure where to go, you just end up fumbling around looking for a path forward. But what if you had something that could guide you? Let market research be your flashlight by helping you assess markets, draw conclusions and test demands.

So, if you’re new to exporting or in need of market research to take your business to the next level, we’re here to help. Here’s just a few of the ways market research will help your business grow.

Gain confidence

International market research is a critical component of successful export planning. Unfortunately, many exporters skip this step or they only select new markets based on website inquiries or where a competitor is selling. Many businesses find success this way, but it’s a reactive approach to doing business. Instead, be proactive and get ahead by collecting valuable market research data.

Make sure you research markets in several countries and weigh the pros and cons of doing business there. Then, when it comes time to select a target country (or countries), you’ll have the confidence you need to take that next step.

Mitigate risks

There’s always going to be a chance of failure when it comes to entering a new export market, but research can help mitigate some of the risk by giving you a clear understanding of the competitive landscape. In addition to providing valuable information about your competitors, prospective end users, opportunity and growth potential, market research gives your business a strategic advantage and better sets you up for success, even in markets of limited potential.

Streamline your export strategy

A business without a plan is destined for failure. An in-depth market research report is the ultimate plan and can even serve as a guide for your company’s employees. Time is valuable and no one wants to waste their day doing something that isn’t constructive or profitable. A market research report not only outlines a clear vision for your company’s export strategy but aligns everyone under the same goal.  And when everyone is on the same page, your market entry is going to be more efficient.

Market research resources for your business

If you’re an exporter but haven’t invested in market research or considering your options on the international market, we can point you to resources that will help. The U.S. Commercial Service Rural America’s Intelligence Service for Exporters (RAISE) Program provides comprehensive market research for rural companies that can help you:

  • Determine export opportunity and provide prioritized country rankings
  • Build a strategic export plan based on data and on-the-ground realities
  • Determine if a trade show, trade mission or overseas trip is a worthwhile investment
  • Develop a prospective buyer list
  • Amplify your presence at a trade show by developing contacts for promotions prior to the event
  • Prepare for a meeting with a prospective buyer

The fees associated with this service are subsidized through the West Virginia Development Office Export Promotion Program. Contact us today to see how your company can take advantage of this program.

Caitlin Ashley-Lizarrage headshot

Caitlin Ashley-Lizarraga

International Trade Representative

Caitlin works with the West Virginia Development Office’s Export Promotion Program. She helps introduce the world to the hidden gem of West Virginia one export at a time.

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