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Step 8: Preparing your export plan

You are here:Step 8:Preparing your export plan > Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm > The export price > Step 2: Costing for exports



Step 2: Costing for exports


A summary of where you have come from

In the previous step (step 1) of the export pricing process, you reviewed the price analysis you undertook as part of your export research. Your price analysis provided you with an indication of a market-related export price, an assessment of the demand and competitive factors likely to impact on your final export price, and identified the likely export-related costs you would incur in marketing and distributing your product in the foreign target market. With this information in mind, you then undertook a 'quick and dirty' price comparison working backwards from the market-related price and deducting all of your export-related costs to get to a base (or ex works) price. You then compared this base price with your domestic ex factory price to see whether you are price competitive or not. You know have an idea whether you face a pricing opportunity or pricing problem. Given the competitive nature of global markets, it is more than likely that you face a pricing problem (i.e. you cannot match the market-related price you identified from your export research).

The need for a formal costing process

The previous section was a quick calculation simply intended to give you an idea of where you stand - that is, whether you are likely to face a problem with your pricing or not. It was not intended as a formal costing exercise. By knowing whether you need to be 'tighter' with your costing, you will be more aware and sensitive to the various pricing and costing alternatives you might face. You now have to undertake a more formal costing exercise to highlight with greater certainty the costs you face. The purpose of this costing exercise is to:

  1. Ensure that you have identified all of the costs likely to impact on your final export price
  2. Estimate as realistically as possible the actual costs associated with each cost item
  3. Determine the export pricing strategy you will follow based on your costs, your expected final price, the demand and competitive factors you face, and the flexibility you have with your export price setting
  4. Find ways of cutting costs (by reducing expenditure in certain areas, for example)
  5. Decide on a final export price

There are many costs involved

One of the major challenges in exporting is ensuring that you remain competitive yet still make a profit. Bear in mind that the channel between your firm and your customer is much longer than in the domestic market and that there are many intermediaries along the way. You need to account for the wide variety of additional costs you will encounter, such as distribution costs, documentation costs, the cost of additional channel intermediaries, as well as the taxes and tariffs that you will encounter when doing business with overseas markets. Indeed, you will find to your dismay that there is a cost around every corner.

The price at home will not be the price abroad

These costs all contribute to either a higher price or to lower margins (i.e. lower profits). There are many company executives that in their travels abroad have looked at the selling price of products similar to theirs in an overseas market and that have then translated this price back into rands and thought to themselves they cannot help but "make a killing". However, once they embark on the export road to "millions' they soon discover that all of these many, many costs between their factory door and the client's warehouse quickly erode any chance of extraordinary profits. More often than not they find to their dismay that their products once landed in the export market are in fact more expensive than those of their overseas competitors. At this point many exporters give up. The more competitive exporters then begin to look for ways of reducing costs and creating additional value - if they are determined enough, these last-mentioned entrepreneurs are bound to succeed.

The need to cost for export

One way of overcoming these obstacles is to undertake a thorough costing exercise and to think carefully about the pricing strategy you plan to follow. In the next few sections, we will take you step by step through the costing process and we will introduce you to alternative pricing strategies.

The costing exercise begins with your production costs

You export costing exercise begins at a stage before the ex works or ex factory price. It begins with estimating the costs associated with actually producing the export product. The reason for this is that by saving costs in the production process, you can achieve a lower ex works/ex factory price and this will have a positive impact on the resting of the 'costing chain'.

OK, let's tackle the costing exercise

Thus in this section, we take you step by step through the typical costs that you will encounter in export markets. We begin with the typical costs of manufacturing a product and then we add the costs that you are likely to incur as you move closer to your customer. These cost schedules are simply guidelines. Every company, industry and different country may have different costs associated with them. You need to ensure that you have identified all of the costs associated with your particular company, industry and target country. Careful and realistic costing is a crucial part of the export process.



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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      Synopsis of research already done
      Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      Setting the export objectives of the firm
      Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
                  The export product
                  The export price
                        Step 1: Undertaking a price analysis of your target market
                                    .Costing guidelines
                                    .Costing sheet framework
                        Step 3: Approaches to pricing
                        Step 4: Export pricing strategies at your disposal
                        Step 5: The export price - your key to success
                        Step 6: From an export price to a final selling price
                        Step 7: Reviewing the pricing process
                  Export promotion
                  Export distribution
      Preparing an export budget for your firm
      Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      Preparing and presenting your export plan
      Obtaining approval for your export plan

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More information on Step 8
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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