We support companies in export development and finding business partners on foreign markets.
We provide market entry services, create export expansion strategies, analyse international markets, source for export funding opportunities and promote products and services of our Clients.
Strategy of expansion abroad
Obtaining financing for export activities
In-the-market research and consulting
Choosing attractive directions for export
Conditions for export on selected markets
Successful export market entry
IT company – Export Assessment
In order to get to know client’s resources, 10 internal areas of company’s functioning were analyzed, including organization and company’s management, human resources, corporate culture, administration and control, profitability and financial management, innovations area, quality and technology. Analysis covered also processes such as designing new services, providing services, sales, distribution, marketing, brand and quality of services provided. Export potential of the company was researched applying PERI method which takes into account 4 main factors influencing this potential: Product/Experience/Resources/Information.
IT company – Market Selector
There were two stages in choosing target markets for the Client to expand internationally. At the first stage minimum requirements for the markets to be interesting for our client were defined. 6 minimal indicators were applied, such as average GDP growth, size of the market, acceptable risk. The next stage of choosing the markets involved comparing 20 countries fulfilling these minimum requirements according to 6 selected indicators. As a result of this selection, 3 target markets with the biggest export potential were chosen.
IT company – Market View
Selected target markets were analyzed in terms of defined competitive framework – defining market size, defining clients, analyzing competition and environment. Environment analysis included among others verification of legal conditions, habits, procedures and trade practices. Thanks to this it was possible to determine competitive position of the company on selected target markets and estimate opportunities and risks in terms of carrying out planned aims on selected markets.
IT company – Prospection
Choosing contractors on target markets started with recognizing sources of information about these markets and about enterprises functioning in this area. Desk research method based on Internet sources was applied, involving selecting main sector portals from the IT area and reading number of professional publications in online editions of sector press, but not only. Trade associations and sector online platforms were identified as well. Using these sources allowed us to carry out marketing analysis providing information about general economic situation in the IT sector on selected market and trends visible in this area. The main aim was to determine sources of information about target group for the Client, which consists of companies creating or using SaaS platforms and next, based on this information, to prepare a database containing complete contact details of potential business partners.
IT company – Promotion
Promotional activities on target markets included organizing economic missions. In line with earlier adapted assumptions, we focused on the subjects from the sectors of interactive advertising agencies and consulting in the area of business applications. Missions focused on the main city agglomerations, which are the IT centres at the same time. In each case agenda of the meeting was a result of consultations with the client concerning profiles of potential business partners. Due to features of markets, schedules varied when it comes to number of meetings. Despite this factor, we managed to be efficient in each case. As a result, company got real possibilities to expand clients’ portfolio. Carrying out mission included also logistic services, thanks to which client could focus only on tasks within core business.
Plastic processing company – Market Selector
Gaining comprehensive data for all the compared markets is a condition for efficiency of analytical tool for choosing the most attractive export markets – Market Selector. We compared 12 markets for the Client, including developing countries, which don’t provide full economic statistics according to European standards. Additionally specifics of the company’s product, produced as half-product applying mainly one technique and using a few out of available plastics, led to the fact that size of the market for this product was virtually impossible to estimate with usually applied production data.
Constructing proper indicators applicable to analyzing how attractive markets are was a challenge. In order to meet it, we used bigger than usually amount of qualitative data, quantified for the sake of the tool. It required bigger than usually amount of time from the consultants, but led to achieving expected level of credibility of the analysis’ results. Out of 12 compared markets, 4 countries were selected; within each of them 1 to 3 most promising sectors for the company’s products’ export were indicated. Part of the results confirmed what client assumed based on local experience and economic knowledge but another part of finding provided new leads, which later on turned out to be very promising.
Plastic processing company – Market View
The most important information about potential export markets for the Client included: mechanisms of setting up cooperation with foreign providers of plastic parts, standard requirements and structure of local competition. In order to provide such information we carried out research applying phone interviews method among potential clients of the company in selected sectors and countries. Based on this data we created profiles of 7 countries-sectors together with recommendations concerning strategy of entering them, including information such as contact paths, the most efficient forms of promoting offer and content which should be underlined.
Plastic processing company – Prospection
Project resulted in providing client with database of products’ recipients on selected markets. Database included 70 contacts assessed as potential clients, preliminarily interested in cooperation with a new provider, divided into 3 groups according to how attractive the contact is. Each contact included contact details of a person with decision making power at this stage of cooperation as well as commentary concerning needs and other details of the potential client. The same information was provided about all the companies approached in Prospection stage, which gave picture of the sector’s picture on selected markets and the degree of interest in offer of plastic elements’ provider from Poland.
Plastic processing company – Market Advisor
In 2007 Ageron had a task to find possibilities of expanding market for the Client in new sectors. It was consulting not in the area of entering a new market, but in the area of developing activities on the market penetrated already for 10 years. Scope of our consultants’ job included: analyzing market of plastic in Poland with emphasis on determining its size and share of various plastic materials, analyzing direct competition and role of geographical location in degree of presence on the market, analyzing buying force of various sectors in order to indicate the most attractive ones as well as in-depth analysis of the most attractive sectors. Research project resulted in creating contact database of 123 potential clients, representing mainly 3 most promising sectors. The long-term business advantages for the client was proven by the fact that they contacted Ageron 5 years later, when they exhausted possibilities on Polish market indicated in 2007 and were ready to embark on export activities.
Medical equipment manufacturer – Market View
Preliminary analysis of Indian market in terms of medical equipment’s sales provided client with information about its potential and receptivity. The main task was to estimate value of the market of products offered by our client. While analyzing market, we looked at the competition environment. We estimated number of national producers and foreign companies present in India. Based on this estimation we compared product portfolio and determined leading producers. Analyzing potential ways to enter client’s sector’s market was the next step.
At this stage of analyzing market we examined also prices of products at various stages of distribution and determined at which stage they usually reach consumers. We described the system of purchasing applied by hospitals and pharmacies networks. We provided information as well in the area of health care in India regarding interesting from the client’s point of view illnesses and therapies. In the area of market research we provided information about procedures and requirements related to introducing and distributing medical equipment in India.
Medical equipment manufacturer – Prospection
The next stage of cooperation with the client involved identifying business partners according to products which are strategic from the client’s point of view. At the initial stage of entering the market the company decided to promote itself through two main categories of products. Thanks to obtained databases and desk research analysis, interviews with associations and visiting fairs, it was possible to prepare a database of potential business partners for our client.
Medical equipment manufacturer – Promotion
Taking into consideration that our client was just entering Indian market, we decided to start direct promotion with trade mission. Due to big size of the market and the country itself we decided to focus on New Delhi and Mumbai, using the chance to visit Medical Fair India. As a result of contacting many distributors and presenting client’s profile, potential partners were selected according to client’s expectations. The crucial thing was to take into account big size of the Indian market and scope of potential distributor. As a result of constant cooperation with our client we scheduled meetings with the most promising companies with whom cooperation at this stage of the project could be established.
Food manufacturer – Export Assessment
AGERON analyzed current situation of the company on the national market (structure of employment, financing, production, quality and team management systems, technological development etc.), diagnosed its competitive position (among others advantages of the product offer, structure of the sector and competition, appropriate distribution channels, quality of marketing tools applied, customers segmentation) and the state of macro environment.
Export potential of the company was assessed based on collected data. Diagnosis was very positive for the client, although weak points were also indicated; they have to be improved in order to limit risks related to entering foreign markets with a wide offer. Nevertheless, export potential was estimated high enough to open the doors to export onto many markets, including the more difficult, namely further ones.
Based on Export Assessment’s activities and tools of strategic management applied in this module, export strategy was formulated – recommendations included diversification of export markets in order to fully use export potential of the company and limit risk related to entering just one market.
All the conclusions from Export Assessment were used by AGERON to formulate Export Development Plan for the company, which became a base for client applying for the programme ‘Passport to Export’.
Food manufacturer – Funding Monitor
Financing is the main challenge in case of such wide export activities (10 markets, 15 promotional trips abroad, production of information materials and obtaining international quality certificates). Project for the Labinscy company was financed from the European Union’s funds within Innovative Economy Operational Programme 2007-2013, Action 6.1 ‘Passport to Export’.
Obtaining financing was of key importance. Export Development Plan written by AGERON had to reliably indicate export potential of the Labinscy company and underline the best justified activities, worth financing. Application for financing (written together with the company handling settling applications for the European Union’s fund) had to be correct both in the formal and content aspect. Applying for financing was successful and resulted in client signing agreement with the Wielkopolska Agency for Enterprise Development which carries out Action 6.1 for the Ministry of Regional Development.
While implementing project (expected to be completed in the middle of 2015) AGERON continuously makes sure to fulfill formal criteria typical of the Union’s programmes. In dynamic business reality it might be a challenge to adjust project to our needs. Applications, annexes, changes in schedules are everyday reality of the project, thanks to which AGERON gains more experience in administrative support for entrepreneurs acting within Union’s financing of export activities.
Food manufacturer – Market Selector
In line with export markets diversification strategy set in the Export Assessment module, Market Selector aimed at finding a few markets with different features.
The most attractive mature markets could be found in Western Europe. Southern-Western European markets turned out to be interesting as they are less saturated than Polish market in terms of competition; additionally they are important due to geographic proximity. The list of markets was completed with Middle Eastern markets, where the demand for food products is still significant, which is related also to a big number of consumers from Europe and US living there.
Eventually client was advised to expand to 10 foreign markets. We recommended also the most suitable promotional tools for these markets – the most important ones included European food products fairs, but also brand fairs, visited mainly by the commercial chains; economic missions on each market, obtaining certificates needed on selected markets and producing promotional materials dedicated to each market as well as adjusting website to foreign markets’ recipients’ needs.
Polish economy promotion programmes – Funding Monitor
Activities stimulating export are financed at the level of 75% of qualified costs. They cover expenses specified in the Ministry of Economy’s regulation, including renting exhibition surface, preparing promotional materials, publishing advertisement in press, purchasing consulting services, trainings or costs related to obtaining certificate.
Submitting application within the deadline is a condition for receiving reimbursement; AGERON helps with preparing such application. Factors which are extremely important in this process include experience in preparing such applications, good contacts with the Ministry’s employees and current cooperation with companies participating in the programme. Thanks to such support, big majority of applications submitted by entrepreneurs was accepted by the Ministry of Economy, which leads to signing agreement and settling costs after each completed event
Polish economy promotion programmes – Prospection
The Ministry of Economy carried out preliminary assessment of markets and in case of medical and pharmaceutical sectors selected the most promising ones in terms of Polish products’ export: United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Czech Republic and China. In case of trade promotional programmes beneficiaries themselves usually indicate specific companies which they would like to meet; our aim is to set up the contact with potential partners and organize a meeting. Working simultaneously in various time zones and different business cultures AGERON’s employees match Polish enterprises with foreign contractors. We encounter many challenges while carrying out this task. Sometimes we tell foreign entrepreneurs about specifics and attractiveness of Polish industry from scratch (US, China). Sometimes inviting to come to Poland, we try to convince to change already established schedule of foreign visits (Germany).
Another way to reach the most interesting trade partners is to participate in meetings with foreign experts, which are organized within trainings and economic missions. Experts invited by AGERON Polska have knowledge and contacts which enable gaining knowledge about structure of selected sector on a given market in an easy way. Polish entrepreneurs can set up direct contact with foreign partners taking part in trade fairs which are included in the schedule.
Polish economy promotion programmes – Promotion
Within trade promotional programmes entrepreneurs can participate in:
- economic missions
- meetings with foreign journalists and experts
Planning any promotional activities we do our best to approach clients individually so that we can fully fit message to their strategic aims and specific features of the market. For example, entrepreneurs often decide to publish in trade press, which in case of American and Chinese markets is a prestigious promotion tool.
MŁPL/PŁ/WLKP – Export Assessment
Countries and regions more and more often realize necessity to increase export potential of their companies knowing that strong export position of the region strengthens its economic competitiveness. Key task is to identify strengths of the region’s export offer and then to design activities for the public administration in a way which leads to benefiting from the exporters’ potential even more.
We use our experience in the area of carrying out activities aiming at increasing export potential of the companies successfully cooperating with institutions both on central and local level – we know what kind of support companies expect and from which activities enterprises will benefit the most.
Strategy of expansion abroad
This tool is used for analyzing enterprises from the point of view of competitive advantages and risks connected with starting and/or expanding export activities. It allows us to assess export potential of the organization and formulate export strategy, which is base for successful expansion to foreign markets. The tool is valuable for those commencing export activities and those who want to increase efficiency of export activities.
Export Assessment is a set of tested and constanly improved diagnostic tools which in combination with expert knowledge and experience lead to carrying out comprehensive diagnosis of specific feaures of the enterprise and formulating recommendations tailored to client’s needs and interests. During meetings between consultant and enterprise’s representatives among others following key areas are discussed and analyzed:
• Characteristic features of offered products and services and their place in revenue structure
• Characteristic features of processes of production or creating service
• Distribution channels and distributors
• Providers and contractors
• Target groups/clients
• Competition and structure of the market/sector
• Competitive advantages of the organization
• Macro environment of the company
• Characteristic features of the brand(s) and company’s external communication
• Strategy/expansion plans
• Experience so far and targets abroad
• Internal structure and human resources
• Financial resources – structure and sources
Applying Export Assessment results in creating comprehensive report including:
• Analysis of internal export potential
• Analysis of sector and macroeconomic envrionment with emphasis on assessing obstacles in expanding international activities of the company
• Analysis of the risks and competetive advantage of the organization and its products/services
• Analysis of the company’s export aims
• Recommendations resulting from analysis mentioned above, which constitute base for internationalization strategy
With help of the tool Export Assessment we precisely define conditions for export activities of the enterprise. This way we provide trustworthy base for choosing the most efficient activities within internal structure, marketing, international promotion and sales of products or services.
Additionally, Export Assessment is a very efficient way to start cooperating within other modules of Ageron ExportCreator – consultants have a chance to get to know well organization, client’s expectations and needs, thanks to which further cooperation is easier and faster and individualizes solutions more effective.
Obtaining financing for export activities
We constantly monitor financing sources for the export activities. We choose these which are the most suitable for the enterpreneur’s needs. We write application in a way to maximize chances of obtaining financial support. We are with our clients at all the project’s stages – from submitting the application, through corrections and documentation until final settlement.
Efficiency in obtaining and settling financing for internationalization depends mainly on experience and abilities to handle environment of institutions supporting entrepreneurs. New period of financing from the European Union for the years 2014-2020 is approaching, to which new rules, currently known only in general outline, will apply. Getting to know them and implementation interpretation will pose an enormous challenge for companies assisting enterprises with obtaining these funds. This challenge will be met only by companies such as ours who approach services in a complex way and do not focus only on submitting application, but on all the project’s stages they remain in touch with the entrepreneur and with representatives of institutions granting funds, constantly updating knowledge, crucial for leading client through complicated administrative process.
In-the-market research and consulting
We advise how to improve company’s situation on export market.
Our recommendations are based on results of dedicated research and marketing analysis (in aspect of consumers, image and evaluation). Precisely defined problems and solutions, finding alternative attractive markets, evaluation and improvement of activities so far – these are just examples of results from MarketAdvisor’s use focused on increasing client’s business results.
Within the module MarketAdvisor we carry out market research analyzing problem defined by the client or we support entrepreneur in precise diagnosis of the problematic issues. Next we recommend actions directed at solving them and making achieving aims easier.
Read about our research experience and methodology applied in tab „X”. We present below examples of research areas chosen from many, which we analyze for exporters:
· Demand and supply of products/services
· Behaviours and needs of consumers
· Aware perception of the brand
· Ranking in terms of price of products/services
· Recommended strategies of distribution and logistics
· Evaluation of promotional activities so far
· Perspectives of expanding output market
Choosing attractive directions for export
This tool focuses on foreign markets. It allows to choose the most promising markets for a given enterprise, based on complex analysis of economic criteria, in order to direct export of products/services there where they have the biggest chance of being successful.
Applying analytical tool Market Selector allows us to create a reliable ranking of countries/sectors which are the most beneficial from the point of view of products and services export.
At the initial meeting, apart from getting to know client’s needs and expectations, we determine which countries will be taken into consideration and which criteria of their assessment should bear the biggest weight in terms of importance.
Next step is to collect and analyze wildest and the most detailed set of comparative data. We apply individualizes approach and do not replicate solutions – in each project using MarketSelector we use indicators of attractiveness of analyed markets carefully chosen for a given company and specific situation on the market, such as:
• Statistic data
• Economic ratings
• Indicators of legal-administratives barriers
• Indicators of economic corelations with other markets
• Economicüsocial indicators
• Logistic indicators…
…and many more, thanks to which we can create reliable ranking of the most attractive markets for export of products and services offered by our client.
Conditions for export on selected markets
We examine target markets in terms of conditions in client’s sector. Thanks to analysis and recommendations concerning presence on the foreign market client can among others correctly choose successful distribution channels and adjust strategy to how consuments and competition act.
This module is addressed mainly to companies entering given market with their export offer.
Success on the export market, even the most attractive one, depends mainly on adjusting activities to its specifc character and internal mechanisms. In order to achieve that it is necessary to have access to adequate resources of information and knowledge. Entrepreneur entering unknown maket has at his disposal only superficial information brochures, ready sector reports not taking into account specific product or expensive, long term market research. Neither of these sources is optimal. Tool MarketView fills in this gap.
Market View is a tailored market research providing exhaustive information within various areas which are important from the client’s point of view. Additionally report includes recommendations concerning practical implementation of the research conclusions in client’s business activities in order to multiply effects of entering a new market.
Market View can cover for example following areas:
• Legal-administratice conditions of the export market
• Current trends in the sector and directions of sector’s development
• Segmentation of product/service recipients
• Competition environment
Successful export market entry
We advise how to promote company and its products abroad. We organize participating in fairs, economic missions, matchmaking meetings, conferences using innovative and non standard activities, adjusted to client’s situation. We increase awareness of the brand as well as number and quality of contacts set up and as a consequence – signed contracts.
Based on many years of experience we know that the essence of successful promotion on foreign markets is choosing the right tactics. There are no universal solutions in this area – ways, methods and channels of promotion have to be tailored for the specific market and client’s strategic aims.
By determining correct strategy we support making key decisions and choices. Which aspects of the offer should be exposed? Should we choose going to fairs, meeting with potential partners within economic mission or maybe advertisement in media shaping recipients’ behaviours? Which events, media, regions should be chosen from the promotional offer of the market?
Thanks to strategic consulting and practical experience of our experts, organizational aspects such as logistics of promotional trip or building stand at fairs are just operational addition to well thought and accurate promotional strategy.
We find foreign partners, importers, distributors and potential clients using wide array of information and communication channels. We create exhaustive database of contacts, thanks to which entering a new market or a new sector becomes faster and easier.
Adequate foreign contacts constitue base for process of entering a new market. When the aim is to create comprehensive and reliable database, the process is time consuming and requires a lot of work. Outsourcing this task externally makes the whole process faster and as a consequence it leads to optimizing costs and increasing efficiency of the company. Human resources of the enterprise are not burdened with additional obligations and can be used fully for other tasks.
Using Ageron’s ExportCreator to obtain contacts on foreign markets guarantees efficient, fast activities of high quality. We achieve it thanks to two elements.
First one is developed network of our foreign partners, thanks to whom we are able to reduce geographical, cultural and linguistic distance between us and client’s target market. If making contact requires personal meetings, direct presence on a given market reduces costs significantly as well – experts from our regional offices and our partners set up first contact, optimizing time and logistic costs.
Second element is focusing on comprehensive, adjusted to situation use of various channels of obtaining foreign partners, among others:
• Individual phone or/and personal interviews
• Sector fairs
• Trade associations and Trade Chambers
• Databases of Departments of Promotion of Trade and Investment within Polish embassies
• Polish and foreign experts’ sector contacts
• Trade portals, media in given sector and B2B databases