Whether you’re selling consumer goods or B2B supplies, widening your market to include overseas customers is an excellent idea. The explanation is obvious: enlarging and diversifying your customer-base brings more revenue and helps your business grow.
However, this is easier said than done. Because (as you probably know) attracting attention from any customer is hard enough, even if they live two blocks away. How can you gain the trust and ultimately the business of customers in another country?
Don’t worry, though, you won’t miss out on overseas opportunities. There’s a great number of tools at small business’ disposal to help you go global.
There’s a great number of tools at small business’ disposal to help you go global.
Follow our tips and begin your international adventure.
1. Strong Online Marketing
Reaching a wider audience has never been easier thanks to the internet. However, it does have a downside: it’s hard to stand out from the crowd.
If you want to target overseas customers, you better do your research. Try to localize your marketing efforts to a given area, and focus your aim as much as possible. For example, are you selling low-cost hardware tools? Try targeting a young urban audience, e.g. students or recent graduates in the greater Toronto area.
Research your target market and create specific incentives for them. Use the most popular ecommerce platforms (read our article Top 6 Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses to choose the best one for your needs), and design a website that builds trust with your prospective customers.
Bear in mind when formulating your message that your overseas target audience is different from your home base. To avoid a cross-cultural faux-pas, read our comprehensive international business guides.
2. Trade Organizations
There are several non-profit and government organizations whose aim is to help US exporters enter overseas markets. Reach out to one or more of these and inquire about assistance in finding overseas customers.
Export.gov, the US Chamber of Commerce, as well as the United States Commercial Service are just of few of these helpful organizations. There are several associations that aim to forge specific bilateral business relations between the US and another country, like the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, or AmCham Canada. If you already have a country in mind, look for a corresponding organization.
3. Trade Shows
Trade shows are the best way to meet potential new customers or business partners, and showcase your company. Inquire whether there are any trade shows in your chosen country that are relevant for your industry.
Similarly, attend trade shows closer to home and keep an eye out for networking opportunities. You can gain both domestic and international customers this way. Read our article for tips on how to make the most of trade shows.
4. Trust Building
Trust plays a significant part in international business
Trust plays a significant part in international business. After all, chances are you’ll never meet your overseas customers, and you’ll still have to convince them to give you their business.
Your website is your most important tool to build trust. It should be intuitive and easy-to-use. Create an approachable, friendly, trustworthy and professional image. Offer customer support during all stages of the sales process, and be available for questions or follow-up as often as possible.
Translating your website into your target audience’s language is another great way to stand out from the crowd and build trust.
5. Smooth Payments
Offering secure and cost-effective payment options is a must for attracting international business. After all, who wants to be stuck in a bank arranging international wire transfers?
Introduce your B2B customers to Veem and say goodbye to confusing international transfers.
Veem is the next generation B2B payments platform. Due to a unique multi-rail technology, Veem creates a direct link between you and your international business partners. This allows you to send and receive fast and secure international payments at the click of your mouse.
Sign up for a free Veem account to enjoy fast and easy international payments.