Many entrepreneurs don’t like to admit when things aren’t going well and it might be time to make a drastic change in operations. They view this as a personal failure, but the truth is that the opposite is the case. When a company needs to give up on a market, it is typically because the market wasn’t able to support the product or service, not the other way around. Whatever the reason, it’s important that entrepreneurs know when to say when, and this is the same for import and export companies. Randall Castillo Ortega, an import/export expert from Costa Rica, discusses when an export company needs to make the tough decision to give up on a particular market.
The decision to leave a market usually costs us for different reasons; firstly because, on many occasions, addressing a market is a bet of the export department. Therefore, having to leave it after a time of struggle is a feeling of defeat that nobody likes to have. That is why it costs us more than it is convenient to make the decision to withdraw commercially from a market, but in reality, it is that with the competitive environment in which we find ourselves in today’s world we must be increasingly pragmatic and know how far to go in one market and when it is better to withdraw and focus efforts on others.
We must bear in mind that exporting companies are usually present, with greater or lesser luck, in many countries. Says Castillo, “This forces us to distribute our small promotion budget among all of them, which is not always the most convenient since as we have already talked about other times. The biggest failure is not being able to know how far to try or continuing to persist in the mistake.”
On many occasions, the decision to leave a market may have been made at that moment before entering it. When an export company decides to enter a particular country, it does so based on a series of factors, facts that are real and we can quantify and on the other hand on expectations normally generated by the facts we have mentioned before. The facts are often created to support expectations and for them to be met. So, before entering a market, it would be very convenient to be able to write in a document the reasons why we believe that this market will be interesting for our company and especially the time that we hope to start having results and what results we should achieve in order to remain in the market and budget for its promotion.
By monitoring these factors, it will be easier for us to properly read the situation if we have previously put white on black certain numbers to guide us. All of this is nothing more and nothing less than what should be contained in a good export scheme. There is nothing more convenient to know when we should not continue to insist on a given country than to draw up a previous plan. “It does not have to become a novel of 400 pages,” adds Castillo, “which helps us to know at all times where we are when in the heat of the battle we can look up and see that we are indeed meeting expectations. Alternatively, it will show that we have tried to involve all the resources we had planned and the resources we could afford, but things have not worked out.”
This will give us several benefits, first and foremost as we have pointed out before, to stop investing part of our resources in a country where we have no possibilities, secondly to allocate this budget to more interesting markets and thirdly to identify those conditions where we can already see that our businesses do not work or what made us fail.