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Step 4

Entering your Selected Market

Your market research and your export business marketing plan will help you choose your market entry strategy. Your decision will have a direct bearing on the results. You may choose any of the following Market Entry Strategies:

  • Direct Exports (B2B) – selling direct to the retailer or chain stores
  • Indirect Exports – selling to a distributor, wholesaler or middleman, who will handle the distribution in the target market
  • Franchising – where a Zimbabwean exporter gives an importer the right to use his/her business model and brand, for exploitation in a specific market for a prescribed period. A Zimbabwean exporter can thus create a network of independent retailers in different cities/towns in a target market. The exporter will earn a fee or royalty from his/her franchisees.
  • Licensing – whereby a Zimbabwean exporter can lease a legally protected entity (his name, logo, trademark, graphic design, slogan or a combination of these elements) to a businessman in the target market to exploit all opportunities
  • Own shop – Setting up your own subsidiaries in the target market.

This can either be:

  • Acquiring an existing business (Merger and Acquisition), or
  • Setting up a new business in the target market

CAUTION: Before venturing into any new market through this mode, you should understand the investment climate prevailing in that country, with regard to ownership and control, travel and residency rights, foreign exchange regulations, investment protection, enforcement of contracts, and other country risks.

  • Joint-venture collaboration – whereby you can merge with an existing business or a potential entrepreneur to set-up outlets in the target market.


Whichever mode of market entry you select, it is always advisable to visit the market to see for yourself the opportunities available for your products or services, identify the competitors and challenges, and select the client you would wish to do business with.

NOTE: In some cases, the buyer may visit your factory before placing an order to see your facilities, your compliance to the buyer’s standards & norms.


It is important that you carefully plan your business trip to optimise the benefits of meeting  potential buyers,  visit the key Trade Support Institutions (TSIs), most importantly the local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Trade Promotion Agency, and any other Government agencies that can be useful.

You should make a check-list of things to do prior to and during your visit.

Check-list: Business Trip 

CAUTION: Always ensure that you undertake appropriate follow-up actions after your visit.


Trade fairs or exhibitions are very important meeting points between buyers and sellers. It is always advisable to visit a trade fair to see the products being show-cased and to understand the needs and requirements of the buyers. ZimTrade organises the participation of Zimbabwe in leading trade fairs in selected countries. If your company is invited to participate in any such event in the Zimbabwe Pavilion, you should ensure that you are well prepared to make the best of your participation. ZimTrade will provide necessary information and arrange logistics for your samples.  You may also visit or participate in trade fairs on your own. Always make your own check list on participation in trade fairs/exhibitions. ZimTrade has proposed a standard check-list.

Check list for participation in trade fairs


E-Marketing is steadily growing in importance in international trade, primarily due to ease of access to internet and fast expanding communication technology. E-marketing is a powerful marketing tool that is cost effective. However, it requires a higher degree of preparation and appropriate logistics.


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