EXPORT FROM SERBIA

Why SHOULD we do it, why CAN we do it and why are we NOT DOING IT?

When several years ago I read a book “ The 4-hour workweek” by Tim Ferriss, I was overjoyed.

This book opened my eyes and I resolved complexes which were accumulated in my mind for many years.

I will paraphrase the main idea of the book: I order manufacturing in one country, sell a product / service in the other while drinking cocktails on the beach in Mexico.

This is not only paraphrasing, it is almost vulgarizing but this sentence represents exactly my feeling that, for the first time in my life, I can be equal in business to one American, a German or an Englishman.

The idea is, in fact, that globalization (bad word) – rather global infrastructure allows each woman/man to sell around the world, provided that she/he is a smart and persistant.

Of course it’s not easy but it is possible, and that is exciting and liberating.

Connecting this topic to the exports, I made a check- list for potential exporters.

First to go: WHY?

 Because the purchasing power in your country is declining sharply and consequently the demand is low.

 Because the payment collection is disastrous.

 Because in our market exists strong competition – particularly unfair thaks to corruption.

 Because in another market, we can get better prices.

 Because we produce at half capacity.

 Because someone from abroad is already interested in our product / service.

 Because we have an innovation that is internationally competitive and interesting.

 Because it’s a plan B if we fail on our market.

 Because elsewhere the competition is weaker.

 Because our product / service is outdated and the new one is only promoting. We need a market where it still can be sold.
 Because we have seasonal goods / services. We are looking for Customers who will buy from January to August.

 Because someone somewhere has passed a law that obliges people to buy just my type of products / services.

And finally, because we want to be free, ESPECIALLY FROM OUR COUNTRY AND TO HELP IT AT THE SAME TIME (What she does not appreciate).

The second, much more difficult: HOW?

 We can do it because our country (as any other country in the world) has solid products and what is particularly important it has smart people who should be organized or be organized in designing new products / services. This is the thing that we all have to take as our personal responsibility and in particular we should not rely on the country’s help..

 We can do it because we have all necessary infrastructure. We have information (to mention the Internet is enough). We have people and companies (that do not need to be organized, but be paid) for market research, PR, export consultants (maybe me). We have a financial system connected to the world that enables secure payments.

 We can do it because all markets are opened today to all goods and services (almost).

 We can do it because there is no aversion to any commodity / service that is high quality and at a reasonable price, even if it is from small developing country.

Well, then, why we DO NOT EXPORT?

 As it goes with everything in life, because of FEAR.

 We do not do it because the export risk is too big (political and economic instability, quotas, corruption, customs, intellectual property theft and the like).

 We do not do it because of high costs (market research, product modification, travel, promotion, new employment, training people for export, etc.).

 We do not do it because the payment collection is too complicated and we’ll be out of money.

 We do not do it because we have no knowledge of export.

 We do not do it because our company is too small.

 We do not know the language and we haven’ travelled a lot.

 The competition is terrible.
I think that the only thing that is left is: WE MUST DO IT! (I am not allowed to say: “Just do it” because of copyrights)

Miroslav Cicak

Belgrade, Serbia

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