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You run a business selling products in or from the Netherlands. Does your product have cross-border potential? To find out, you will need to do some research first. After that, you will need careful planning and preparation.
Use guides and checklists. A proper checklist gives you the certainty that you have considered the most important matters. A guide can help you draw up, for example, your export plans.
How does exporting fit into your business?
Exporting is not something you do on the side. You must ask yourself how exporting fits into your business. Does it fit into your company mission statement? Does export fit in your view of the future and the chosen strategy? Do you have sufficiently educated and motivated staff?
An export plan helps to turn your ideas into reality. The Chamber of Commerce provides a handy template for an export plan (in Dutch). You have to answer questions like 'Why do I want to export?', 'Can I handle the production demands?', 'What do I need to do for transport and insurance?', 'Who is my competition?'. You will end up with a fully elaborated plan as your starting point.
To assess whether there is enough interest and whether your export goals can be achieved, market research is essential. You can also get an external market research company to do part of or all the research for you.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency databases give you access to economic projections by country, import and export figures, and foreign investments per product.
Find market information per country (in Dutch) and compare the countries you want on the basis of a number of criteria, for example:
- the disposable average income of the population
- import tariffs (only outside the European Union)
- product requirements and other rules
Direct or indirect export
You yourself can export your product, but you can also make use of intermediaries. The advantages and disadvantages of exporting directly or indirectly depend on your situation, your product and the requirements of the foreign market.
Financing for export
A bank can request a partial government SME loan guarantee. There are several options for financing your export plans. Are you preparing a request for credit and do you want to increase your chances? Contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency for tailormade financial advice for Starters in International Business.
Subsidies and tax
Always check if your business qualifies for a subsidy or tax reduction.
Events and meetings
Go to relevant events and conferences, for instance the networking events organized by the Europe Enterprise Network.
Both the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce offer starting or inexperienced exporting companies support and advice. Get in touch with them if you want to ask for personal help: Netherlands Enterprise Agency or Chamber of Commerce.