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You are here: About ExportHelp  
About ExportHelp

Welcome to ExportHelp!


ExportHelp is a portal with the task of helping South African firms – both small and large – take greater advantage of the opportunities available on the global front. We intend to assist companies – like yours - to enter the export arena and to grow their exports to the point of becoming successful global competitors. Bear in mind that international competitiveness has a direct and positive impact on domestic success.

We do not believe, however, that this is an easy objective or that you will become successful exporters overnight simply by browsing through ExportHelp. Indeed, it is our view that if you are not yet ready to export, rather don’t go down the export path! Focus on the domestic market instead and build your local market, your brand, your reputation and your business expertise first. On the other hand, if you are an established firm with a solid local base and with unique and innovative products that you feel convinced will succeed abroad, welcome aboard – we hope to help you break down the barriers to a world of opportunities.

ExportHelp was started because we believe that export growth is a key contributing factor to South Africa’s overall economic growth. If we are to reach the 6% growth rate in GDP that Government has been targeting, then exports and export growth becomes a priority. Sadly, though, although our absolute value of exports is growing, our relative position (that is, our share of global exports compared with the rest of the world) appears to be falling). There is need therefore to give emphasis to growing our exports, improving our global competitiveness and overcoming the barriers and other challenges to exports. We hope ExportHelp will assist you in your globalisation endeavours.

We see ExportHelp as a reference point – a source of export-related information. We also believe that ExportHelp will fulfill a learning role. Its real value will only be achieved, however, if it helps create a community of like-minded individuals and organisations, all focused on expanding beyond the borders of South Africa. For it to be a successful community, it is essential that ExportHelp is used as a community forum – a place where the exporting community comes together, shares information, ideas, comments, frustrations, and hopefully adds to the body of knowledge that we hope to make available to everyone through the ExportHelp portal. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to share in this community.

Click here to access our contact detail.

So who runs ExportHelp?

Well, it is a private initiative which I have been working on for several years. My name is Neels Bothma and I am a senior lecturer in marketing at one of South Africa’s leading universities. I have coauthored two books on global and international marketing, and a further two books on e-commerce. I am currently busy with my doctorate which focuses on the role of a national export portal in South Africa.

I started off my career as an export trade advisor with the Department of Trade and Industry and eventually spent six years abroad as a trade representative and diplomat for South Africa in Austria and Turkey. I returned to South Africa where I was the editor of the Department’s Global Trade magazine for more than a year, before taking up a position in academia. I run a training programme in international marketing through my university and I am total convinced of the role of- and importance of exporting in the future well-being of our country.

I am assisted by Christine, who has been involved for more than a decade in building and helping to maintain the Business Referral and Information Network (BRAIN) website, now known as the SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) portal. With SEDA receiving more than 40 000 visitors monthly, I am confident that Christine will help build ExportHelp into a successful export portal in South Africa.

I invite you to use ExportHelp and to contribute to ExportHelp by way of articles, comments, criticisms, questions, news, or in any way that will help ExportHelp achieve its goal. Click here to contact us.

Welcome onboard.

Neels Bothma
Your online export helpdesk!


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Learning to export... The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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