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Market research as the basisMarketing research helps you identify your potential customers, their whereabouts, and your competitors. Get started with our information on market research.
Why export?In your market research, list your reasons for exporting. For instance: you want to expand your customer base. Or: there are too many competitors on the Dutch market. Also think about your unique selling points: if you want to export bags to Spain, they must be cheaper and/or of better quality than the ones already available, to stand out.
How do opportunities arise?There are several ways in which opportunities present themselves. Trade agreements, the lifting of trade barriers, and lowering of import duties can create trade opportunities abroad. Changes in product legislation can also simplify doing business. The changing climate also creates new business opportunities: think of floods, causing a need for dykes, or extreme drought causing a need for irrigation systems. In short, be ready to respond to developments and changes abroad.
Select favourable markets for your product
No doubt you have certain ideas about the countries you want to trade with: should they be near the Netherlands, or doesn't it matter? What should the purchasing power per head of the population be? There are many considerations, and only you know which ones are important for you. The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) has developed the Export Markets tool, that allows you to set the criteria and their weight, to determine which countries could be of most interest to you.
There may be many potential markets for your products. To stay on top of things, list criteria to select the most favourable foreign markets. You can compare the macroeconomic situation in several countries by checking the Netherlands Enterprise Agency Landeninformatie (in Dutch only). Check out the current situation as well as expected developments. Try to find branch and sector information, for instance from local branch organisations; they often publish market and branch reports or trade magazines. If your focus is on the European market, you will do well to read the market reports published by the CBI (Center for the Promotion of Import from developing countries). The CBI informs businesses in developing countries about opportunities for products on the European market, but the reports also offer relevant information for companies in the Netherlands that want to export to other European countries. Also, be aware of cultural differences in trading and product experience. The EU Market Access Database provides information on local customs and traditions.