Preparing to export
The main routes to market include:
agent or commission agent
Direct sales into the Polish market can be difficult. It is often more effective to approach the market through local business partners with the ability to distribute and provide technical support.
Licensing and franchising are increasingly popular.
Invest in Poland provides information on setting up a company or a branch office in Poland. See: www.paiz.gov.pl/polish_law/forms_of_doing_business
Consultation and bespoke research
Taking a strategic approach
British companies are advised to undertake as much market research and planning as possible. As with any market, doing business with Poland can be challenging, but taking a strategic approach is the key to making the process manageable. The first step is to spend some time thinking about your company's Poland objectives.
The questions listed below should help you to focus your thoughts. Your answers to them will highlight areas for further research and also suggest a way forward that is right for your company. You may then want to use this as a basis for developing a formal Poland strategy, although this may not be necessary or appropriate for all companies:
- Do you wish to buy from Poland, sell to Poland or both?
- Do you wish to establish your own company presence in Poland (for example through direct sales, partnership, joint venture, agent or commission agent?
- Do you need to be involved in Poland at all?
- Do you see Poland as part of a wider plan including eg other Central or East European markets?
- What are the unique selling points for your product or service?
- Do you know if there is a market for your product in Poland?
- Do you know if you can be competitive in Poland?
- Are your competitors already in Poland? If so, what are they doing?
- Do you have the time and resources to handle the demands of communication, travel, product delivery and after-sales service?
- Do you know how to secure payment for your products or service?
- Do you know where in Poland you should start?
- Do you know how to locate and screen potential partners, agents or distributors?
- Have you carried out any Poland-specific customer segmentation, and do you know how to best reach potential customers in-market?
It is unlikely that you will have the answers to all these questions at the outset and these ‘knowledge gaps’ should form the basis for further research and investigation. Some of these questions will require quantitative research in your sector, while others involve more contextual and cultural considerations. Talking to other people in your industry and regularly visiting Poland will give you access to the most current advice, and such experience can often lead to new insights and form the basis for further research. You will be able to find out some free information from carrying out desk research.
The DIT website: www.great.gov.uk/uk has further good marketing content on helping first-time and experienced exporters to develop their marketing and business strategies and sell abroad.
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