Here are the key points you need to consider.

Whether the UK ends up in or out of the EU, whether there are customs tariffs or a free-trade deal, it is an unarguable truth that the UK will remain a great place to do business. 60+ million consumers, manufacturing, a well-off population, a shortage of housing, a strong economy – the UK is packed full of opportunity.

So you want some of it? Here are things you should consider before you leap in.

Once you’ve decided on which country to target (we can talk deeper on how to choose!) – in this case, the UK – we recommend a 6-step plan for market entry.

Step 1 is to analyse and understand. Dig deep into the size and structure of YOUR market potential. This includes the total market size, realistic percentage you can gain within years 1 – 5, what the barriers are (from duties to certifications to attitudes), market expectations (delivery times, training, support, etc.) and what the available routes to market are.

Step 2 is to deep-dive into the competitor landscape. Here you’ll learn about what you will need to do to win – this includes best and worst practice, as well as market peculiarities. It will also tell you about where and how hard you’ll have to fight and with what messaging. It also allows you to make a strong prediction of the price and value of your product. If you’re the cheapest and it’s a good product, you lose.

Step 3 moves away from competition to understanding the distribution channels you choose. You have to get this right… not just who will distribute (meaning sell!) your product/service, but also what they will expect from you. There is a masters thesis in this alone! One key point, though… don’t choose the first company that comes knocking – choose the one that most-closely fits your needs and culture.

Step 4 moves you forward to targeting and researching your potential clients. By this time you should have a small, focused list of ideal ’targets’. Really dig deep (there are many tools available) and build a contact list you can use to sell to.  This is not just a marketing list, it’s a list of the doors you will be knocking on.

Step 5 is all about planning and executing your market offensive. This is where you pick up the phone and start booking appointments. And this is why we also say “plan” – you’ll need a map of the UK next to you so you can make efficient visits! And remember, 400 miles is actually 660 km (London to Edinburgh).

Step 6 should actually be in your mind from Step 1 onwards, and is appreciating and understanding the (business) culture. This will enable you to make faster and stronger connections. Slovenian business culture is very different to UK culture, but the better you understand the UK people, the faster you are accepted and trusted. (P.S. this means the more business you’ll get!)

As you can see, we don’t recommend just going and leaping in… a structured approach helps guarantee your success, helps deliver it sooner and ensures you can maintain success and brand strength in the UK market.

Comment to us below with any feedback or questions, and we’ll be happy to discuss any hurdles you have had to face or are still facing.

Rob Howland, Coffee Cup Consulting

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