Last week, we explored the role of new products in developing your new business plan. Now let’s look at opening new markets. Large sales increases can be obtained when new markets are developed. Today, those markets are most likely to be in the developing countries such as Brazil, India and China. This is a program that senior management should lead. Using the experience of your senior managers in developing these markets is key to the success of the effort. You will need to develop separate business plans and budgets for these efforts, which will need the complete support of the management.

In the arena of industrial heating, you must be in some or all of these markets for your future success. This is where the market growth will be as these countries continue to industrialize. There are many paths for entering these markets if you have not already done so. As an example, I can give you my own experiences in entering the market in China.

The market in China has been open to the west for over 10 years now. Some companies were in that market even before the opening to the west, but it is still not too late for new entrants if you have key technology that has a proven track record in western markets. The Chinese technologists are very conversant with the successful technologies of the west and can be very receptive to their introduction in their own markets. Today, new technologies that reduce air and water pollution will be readily accepted in China.

Our own entry into that market began with an e-mail from a small company that wanted to sell our products in China. Before we agreed to a contract, we decided we needed to visit with this group to evaluate their capabilities to represent us. The company was located in the industrial city of Nanjing, but planning a trip there without someone that could navigate the local scene was a challenge.

Next week, I will cover how we went from having a sales representative to having our own wholly owned manufacturing operation in less than five years.