This action plan should include: Objective Goals and benchmarks, short-term and long-term Product Market Product packaging and handling Product modifications, if applicable Financial resources to be committed Non-financial resources to be committed Additional financing Potential importers and buyers Schedule Marketing plan Evaluation
Get to Know the Market Personally:
5.Once you have determined that exportation is feasible and you have developed a basic strategy, either visit Japan to explore opportunities firsthand or find a representative to do so. When appointing agents, be sure your partner has a good reputation and track record in the market place. This face-to-face interaction is very important in business because Japan is unique in the respect that personal relationships are very important. Additionally, keep in mind that it takes time to form these relationships.
6.Understand how the Japanese distribution system works and begin the process of figuring out where you are to enter.
Finding a Buyer:
7.Begin looking for potential buyers and distributors. To find trade leads, participate in trade shows, use the trade leads service, and contact the ATO Japan. Trade shows: There are a variety of trade shows, large and small, which act as great tools for market research as well as for finding potential distributors. A list of USDA endorsed trade shows can be found at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/agx/trade_events/2010_2011TSCalendar.pdf. Trade Lead System: This trade leads service is a way in which U.S. suppliers of food and agricultural products can receive targeted trade leads from foreign buyers seeking to import their products. In order to take advantage of these timely leads, a U.S. company must be registered on the U.S. Suppliers List (USL) database. The USL is managed through a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). Register at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/agx/partners_trade_leads/us_suppliers_list.asp.
8.Meet with Japanese importers who distribute the types of agricultural products that you wish to export to learn more about the competitive environment.
9.Visit potential customers to determine if there is interest in your product and to determine how they normally source products. This is a good way to discover how products are normally reformulated and how packaging is