Five tips for entering the Russian market

W2R objectives result from many years’ experience helping foreign businesses to set up in the Russian market.
The primary subject matter when looking to expand into Russia is to decide if you need a direct presence, say, through a representative office or subsidiary or whether you choose to use the Russian market opportunities remotely via an agent or distributor.

Standing at the beginning of a crooked road we cannot blueprint all the details. However there are a few standard Russian market entry strategies that do work. Basically, each of them consists of 5 complex steps:

  1. Assess your export potential through Russian-based sources

Unless you have this done by locals you can only get a cursory view of the market sector you are interested in. In spite of too much talk of globalization, Russia is very special for how individual market sectors run and are organized. So, get a realistic review of the market key players before commencing any operations. Market scanning is much more efficient when performed in the Russian language and with an understanding of the local business culture.

  1. Prepare localized marketing materials and go online

Nobody knows your product better than you. So you should just tell your target audience about it clearly. The best way to do it is to create a set of promotional materials translated into Russian and have your website SEO localized. If, however, you need deeper cultural integration, quality copywriting in the Russian language will do a better job.

  1. Visit Russia in person

Combine the useful with the pleasing visiting a Russian trade fair or exhibition. It is a chance to fast-track your business objectives to potential partners or customers and evaluate your competitive advantage. Take an exhibition stand, hire a Russian interpreter, spread invitations and arrange appointments.

  1. Appoint regional agents across Russia

Building an agency network can be a reasonable choice to minimize your risks and expenses at the start. This cost-effective yet indirect solution will help you promote your brand name and goods in the Russian market.

  1. Start exporting to Russia

Recruit an experienced export sales team; learn the Russian import regulations; start your foreign trade activities via your agents and free finders.

Summary

Follow these first 5 steps to show up in the Russian market wisely:

  1. Assess your export potential through Russian-based sources
  2. Prepare localized marketing materials and go online
  3. Visit Russia in person
  4. Appoint regional agents across Russia
  5. Start exporting to Russia