How do you research international markets?
What sources are recommended for US, UK and Asia?
You can use various internet sources or your trade magazines, following the trends in your sector – especially keeping abreast of what is happening internationally – will help you build the right knowledge base.
General current affairs publications that provide economic analysis will also help you see the big picture and where future demand is likely to be in those areas. Also, you cannot underestimate tapping into your network and talking to your business contacts, especially people in the region you are looking to get into. And don't hesitate in approaching new ones; those accidental encounters that open doors are a reality for many businesses.
The more costly option is to outsource your market research. You could consider hiring a market analyst or a consultant who will have the right knowledge, experience and specialism in the industry or a particular market you are looking to expand into. They will help you assess its attractiveness and potential. Big businesses rely on these as a matter of course, but they may not always be an affordable option for smaller businesses.
The lower cost option is clearly to do the research yourself (in fact, market research is most commonly conducted by entrepreneurs this way), although this will of course place bigger demands on your time. That said, if you do choose to do the work yourself, you could approach a whole network of International trade offices across the world that may help you generate the right contact leads, give you an overview of the market or help familiarise you with the legislative requirements.
If you are looking to test the market more seriously, trade shows can be one of the most effective ways to showcase your business, meet buyers and distributors and conduct some face-to-face market research with customers.
Hope this helps?
The answer to how you research international markets depends
solely on what it is that you want to discover. Are you interested in consumer trends, local legislation, trade incentives, licensing or distribution options, cultural preferences? There are a million factors that could be of significant to your enterprise, and they will be different in each country.
If you are in Australia Austrade provide an excellent service, they have briefing documents on the market characteristics and barriers to entry on most countries and offices in almost all Australian consulates with trained staff able to provide feedback and even set up appointments for you.