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Export Compass helps point your sales in the right direction for overseas success

Keelin Fagan

The export economy is widely seen as a major part of Ireland’s recovery from the pandemic 


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The past 18 months have been challenging for Irish businesses, to say the least. The twin challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have put our companies under immense pressure, affecting output, profits and turnover. So it makes sense for Irish companies to look to other markets in order to increase their business and safeguard their future.

On a higher level, the export economy is widely seen as a major part of Ireland’s – and many other countries’ – recovery in the post-pandemic world. Exporting is also not the sole premise of bigger companies – even small to medium-sized companies with ten or fewer employees should explore the opportunities afforded by exporting to other countries.

The UK market continues to be an important market for Irish exporters, while our ongoing commitment to the EU has made trading within the eurozone easy and accessible. What’s more, Brexit has created more opportunities than ever before for Irish companies to increase business within the eurozone.

With all these positives, it’s clear that every company – regardless of size – with an exportable product or solution should at least be considering the option of developing export markets, either closer to home within the UK and the EU or further afield. However, getting started is the most difficult step.

Enterprise Ireland, in association with Ireland’s network of Local Enterprise Offices, is here to help Irish companies navigate through the initial stages of developing an export plan with the launch of Export Compass, a series of webinars in September and October. This five-part series has been developed to help companies explore ways to overcome the present economic challenges, by understanding overseas business cultures, building digital capabilities for selling, and developing customer, distributor and/or partner relationships.

In essence, this is the all-important “first step” for any company even considering the possibility of exporting, or indeed if you’re in the early stages of your export journey.

Taking place every Tuesday at 10am from September 7, the webinars cover every aspect of developing an export plan, including research into different markets and opportunities, culture and doing business in other countries, sales and marketing techniques to win export customers in a digital world and financing your export plan through funding and pricing. The final session aims to bring all the information together, with a chance for participants to interact with a panel of experts.

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The series features interviews with companies who have successfully exported to a variety of different countries, giving participants a valuable opportunity to learn from other Irish businesses and network with those in similar situations – something that has been hugely missed over the last 18 months.

A pivotal part of the series is the introduction to the many available supports for Irish companies considering an export strategy. Enterprise Ireland has over 40 international locations, which facilitate access to more than 60 countries worldwide. Each of the international offices is there to help Irish companies overcome any obstacles to trading in each country, from facilitating introductions and meetings with potential export partners to researching a chosen sector or overcoming language barriers. For smaller or micro businesses, Ireland’s network of Local Enterprise Offices offer a “first stop shop” to help navigate the various State supports available for all aspects of business, including the first steps in an export journey. The Export Compass series will feature insights from many of the personnel available to help Irish companies implement an export strategy in their chosen country.

The aim of Export Compass is to inspire more small to medium-sized businesses to look at the opportunities afforded by exporting.

Participants will finish with a clear idea of the right place to look for support with their export plan, and how to reap the many rewards available in the export market.

Keelin Fagan is Head of Central Services, Exporter Development & Core at Enterprise Ireland. The Export Compass series of webinars begins on Tuesday September 7, 2021 at 10am, and is free to all micro & SME companies who are looking to take the first steps on the export journey. Register now at enterprise-ireland.com/ExporterDevelopment.

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