Every business owner dreams of building an international business. This dream usually goes with big profits and large expansion plans. After all, why aim for small when you can experience the magic of dreaming big?
International markets have infinite possibilities for SMEs that venture beyond their border. However, many exporters still do know how to expand into these markets.
In this article, you'll find a detailed exporter checklist to get your business off the ground in international exports.
- Know Your Market
Like Sun Tsu said in The Art of War, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." Hence, extensive research must always precede every business venture.
Find out the strengths and weaknesses of similar products in the market. By doing so, you prepare to deal with the different economic, cultural, and political factors that will affect exports.
- Assess Your Product
Know your product, its strengths, and its weaknesses. Is the product needed in foreign? Identify its edge, as to why it has to be in the foreign market. After studying your target market, it's easy to know if you'll make adjustments to your products.
Should you modify the branding? What of the packaging? Your product should resonate with your new target market.
- Get Licensed and Know the Rules of the Game
The export business requires that you know the rules and regulations of foreign markets to conduct business safely.
Also, you have to know the market requirements. Plus, familiarize yourself with the prohibitions and restrictions of local export controls.
Failure to meet the requirements could mean product seizure, fines, or worst, legal charges. In many countries, the local government ensures that imports and exports are within the legal boundaries.
- Market Your Product
Attend trade fairs and use digital marketing; these are cost-effective methods of marketing. It's essential to ensure that your marketing reaches your target audience and converts. Hence, measuring and assessing your efforts is also necessary.
- Insure Your Products
During quotation, it's vital to stipulate who's responsible for insurance against loss or damage while goods are en route. Also, determine the extent of coverage as it protects both of you and the customer.
Remember, product delivery usually depends on the weather, distance, and other handling conditions.
- Document All Transactions
Documentation of all transactions is vital due to the nature of the export industry. You'll be dealing with different customers from different countries. You can easily be overwhelmed.
Therefore, things like buyer-seller agreement and all transactions must be safely stored away – either in a physical location or the cloud.
- Get a Logistic Partner
Find a trusted logistics team to deliver your products from the point of sale to the client's destination. They can make your life easier as they already know the import rules and regulations of foreign countries.
Usually, a logistics company can assist with other things apart from simple delivery. Some of these include costing, proper packaging, and proper documentation of products.
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