Introductory blog by Fund Manager Jan Martin Timmer: 'We happen to export............'!
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Introductory blog by Jan Martin Timmer: 'We happen to export............'!

Jan Martin Timmer 2021 02 Jan Timmer

Together with my girlfriend, I enjoy making occasional faraway trips. We prefer destinations that seem a little less logical, but at the same time accessible to everyone. Think of Burma, Nepal etc. We prefer not to visit the most obvious places. A bit of preparation is useful. We book the first 2 or 3 nights in the city of arrival and do the same for the last 2 nights before leaving for the Netherlands. The period in between we leave open. We like flexibility so that we can decide at any moment what we want to do.

We do this for a reason. Past experiences have almost forced us to learn in advance about the customs, habits, daily routine, climate and culture of the place. We now only use local suppliers (guides, guesthouses etc.) and therefore make sure that we build a small network of locals as soon as possible after arrival. This saves time when traveling around there, as well as money. In addition, there is more room for experiencing the country without spending days organizing practical things.

In short: prepared but maintaining flexibility and using resources efficiently.


In my work, I deal a lot with entrepreneurs who have ambitions to roll out internationally, to start exporting. Some have experience in this and some do not. During the conversations I have with the latter group, it turns out that the choice of an exporting country is often based on chance.

Common arguments for the choice of country are:

  • Met foreign parties at the last international fair who were interested in the products.
  • Acquaintances residing in the intended exporting country.
  • Fellow entrepreneurs who export to that country anyway and are enthusiastic about it.
  • The competitor also does it so I'm going that way too.
  • I have been there on vacation and see a country full of opportunities.

Introductory blog by Fund Manager Jan Martin Timmer: 'We happen to export............'!

For the sake of completeness; these are real-life examples that I have heard with some regularity. The above cannot be dismissed out of hand because there may well be a valid reason. But if you then look further into the strategy behind the implementation, it turns out that it is not all that simple.

The current activities stagnate, for example because the focus is on setting up exports, sales are disappointing, finding the right distribution channels is not successful, partners or buyers are not reliable, parties do not understand each other, or laws and regulations at the local level are throwing sand in the export engine. With a little more preparation, the chances of success could be considerably increased; some things can be prevented or caught by doing research.

5 Blogs about international business

Of course, it is very easy for me to find and shout all sorts of things from the sidelines. Yet it turns out that this picture is confirmed elsewhere. By entrepreneurs afterwards and by professionals who deal with internationally oriented companies on a daily basis. For me and colleague Wim A,B. (NOM Foreign Direct Investment) reason to write a series on export here. In cooperation with Han Smidt (Consultant International Business at the Chamber of Commerce), Frank Booij (Strategist at TRES Internet) and Martin Schiphorst (lawyer Plas | Bossinade) we will post 1 blog every day for 5 days starting next Monday. Each will contribute from his or her own expertise.

We want to share our experiences with you and, where possible, spark thoughts. In the extreme, we have contributed a very small amount to the successful export of a fine northern company in the future.

Blog 1 in the blog series "We export ...... by chance" by Han Smidt, Consultant International Business Chamber of Commerce (on view until December 31, 2018)

Blog 2 in the blog series 'We export ...... by chance' by Frank Booij of (on view until December 31, 2018)

Blog 3 in the blog series 'We export ...... by chance' by Wim A,B., NOM FDI

Blog 4 in the blog series 'We export ...... by chance' by Jan Martin Timmer

Blog 5 in the blog series "We export ...... by chance" by Martin Schiphorst of PlasBossinade (on view through Dec. 31, 2018)