A Beginner’s Guide to Exporting

Have you got a product/service that is selling well in the UK? Despite the size of your company and the sector you trade in, it is likely that there is a profitable market you can tap into abroad too. Selling overseas brings a number of benefits, the biggest of all being that it is a key step towards business growth.

What are the benefits of selling overseas?

Whatever the size or sector of your UK business, there are number of positives to be gained from selling your products or services to an overseas market, including:

  1. Increased profitability and improved financial performance
  2. Opportunities for business growth
  3. Opportunities for innovation
  4. Improved economies of scale
  5. A boost for your profile, at home and abroad
  6. A longer commercial life for your products/services
  7. More resilience to business risk

What do you need to do before selling overseas?

  1. Protect your intellectual property
  2. Carry out research and due diligence
  3. Evaluate potential business risks and legal issues
  4. Secure finances, time and skills needed
  5. Secure a business partner or investor, if needed
  6. Decide who will be responsible for leading the project
  7. Decide which country, region or sector you should start in

What are the 4 key steps to exporting?

1. Research

In order to succeed, it is essential to conduct full and conclusive research into both the market you wish to sell in and your potential customer base. You should also know your rights as a business owner and how you are beast placed to protect them.

What should you know before exporting?

  1. Who your target customer is
  2. Where demand for your product/service lies overseas
  3. Who your competition is
  4. Differences within your new target market i.e. cultural, legal and financial
  5. How to protect your intellectual property rights
  6. The classification of goods, duty relief, VAT, taxes and exchanges rates via HMRC
  7. Whether funding is available to visit trade shows overseas

2. Costs

Whether you need extra investment for research before you start selling overseas or money in the bank to create brand awareness once exporting begins, in order to master exporting effectively you will need to know your finances inside out and make allowances for eventualities, such as extended shipping and payment terms.

Who is UKEF?

With an aim to ensure that no viable UK export fails owing to lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer, UK Export Finance (UKEF) is your helping hand. Working with no less than 70 credit private credit insurers and lenders, the UK’s export credit agency and a ministerial department of the government, they are there to:

  • Provide finance to help you win and fulfil export contracts
  • Protect you against the risk of not getting paid

Who is Rialto Global?

40 years of experience in the Export and Freight industry told us several things. Businesses spend too much time and money gathering the resources to export, and distributors invest a huge amount of time in finding the right products. We’re also seeing the era of e-commerce – changing the game at a pace that’s hard to keep up with.

That’s why we’re introducing a new marketplace to the world. Rialto is designed for both exporters and distributors. It’s a place not only to make connections – but to manage your entire international trading operations.

3. Strategy

An extension of a business strategy with an international focus, an excellent export strategy – that details your objectives and considers risks versus benefits – is your gateway to cornering the new overseas market you desire.

What is in an export plan?

  • Your business model
  • Modifications needed to make your product/service more suitable
  • Information about your new export market
  • Plans to develop your new export market
  • Your preferred route to market with regard to cost and distribution channel
  • Your marketing/sales strategy – including e-commerce if selling online
  • Shipping, storage and other logistics considerations
  • Financial resources and insurance


4. Customers

Selling overseas can extend the shelf-life of your products and open up new markets and opportunities. There are two main routes: selling through a partner retailer and selling directly online. Both of which have their advantages, which will be explored below.

Why sell through a partner?

A selling partner (distributor or agent) who is already familiar with your target market can be a useful contact, especially with regard to knowledge and experience. While distributors will buy products from you directly and then re-sell locally, taking responsibility for profit and loss, agents will work on your behalf to arrange sales only receiving commission from the final payment.

Why sell online to customers abroad?

Through the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) E-Exporting Programme, you can access the Selling Online Overseas tool and start selling overseas on your own terms. Free and easy to use, you can sell on the best global e-marketplaces for your products and export market, such as Amazon and eBay. The tool also offers discounts and marketing packages that might come in handy for your export strategy.

Rialto Global makes exporting easy

Rialto is the only online marketplace that allows exporters and distributors to meet, work together and grow whilst also facilitating the complete, end to end process of exporting goods. Search, ship and pay – all in one place.


For many companies, starting to export can be an expensive process with the cost of hiring export managers, hiring consultants to help with the complexities of shipping, and the cost of travel to meet distributors overseas – by starting your export journey with Rialto we reduce that burden by taking you straight to a global marketplace to make finding those new customers quicker, requiring less investment.

For distributors the world is moving quickly and many are struggling to adapt to the world of E-commerce. You have the in-country market knowledge that brings priceless value to companies looking for new customers in new markets – so sell that value! Rialto provides you with an online presence to sell your services and find exciting new products to bring into your markets.

Rialto is providing that helping hand by developing a global marketplace for exporters and distributors to meet and communicate online.


Rialto can facilitate your shipments – so all stages of exporting your product from A to B are managed within one place. Our freight partner has global coverage and years of experience in moving goods by land and sea all over the world. At

Rialto we have over 40 years of experience in the Freight Forwarding industry, so safely moving goods around the World is what we know. We’ve made sure we have the right freight partners onboard.

We know shipping is complicated, but we make it easy – so you can spend your time on the things that truly matter to you – your product, your marketing and your brand…to name just a few!


Worried about your goods in transit?

At Rialto our cargo insurance partner provides cover for all goods shipped. Moving goods by sea or air is generally a low risk affair but sometimes events can occur that are outside of anyone’s control.
By using Rialto you can be sure that your goods are completely covered whilst in transit, meaning you don’t need to be worried about the burden of financial risk and goods lost – at Rialto we’ve got you covered.


Rialto makes the trading of goods less risky for both exporters and distributors by also facilitating payments between parties. Our Escrow solution means you can rest easy knowing that payment will take place, and only when goods are received. Rialto are your trusted third party to ensure that transactions are honoured and goods do arrive.

By facilitating the whole processes of search, ship and pay – Rialto is making exporting easier and safer for everyone.

Come join us...

As an Exporter.

Plug into Rialto for exporting, and find those extra hours you need to focus on the other things that matter.

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As a Distributor.

Thousands of brands around the World are looking for distribution – but you don’t have to leave your seat. Plug into our marketplace now to be ahead of the curve.

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