Entering the international market is a big decision for every small business. If you want to grow your business, going global is definitely the way forward. However, it’s far from easy.
Getting accustomed to different regulations, business culture, market specifics and consumer expectations are just a few examples of a long list of tasks small businesses need to face when going global.
Luckily, you only have to make the effort once (per country), and in the long run, it’s well worth the effort. Read our tips and find out how to get started.
Thorough Market Analysis
Research the market you want to export to. Find out everything you need to know from consumer behavior, potential niches, competition, to rules and regulations, as well as business culture.
You need to make sure that your product is competitive on your chosen export market, otherwise you may be wasting your time and money
Every market is different. What works in the US may not work in China, and vice versa. You need to make sure that your product is competitive on your chosen export market, otherwise you may be wasting your time and money.
Devise a foolproof market entry strategy. Ask for input from experts who know your export market, and research your competitors. What do they do to entice the target market? How can you top that?
Processes, Rules, and Regulations
Become familiar with all the processes and requirements you need to comply with, both at home and in your export market. These include export/import regulations, tariffs, taxation, employment rules (if applicable) in the receiving country, and so on.
Every country has its own perks when it comes to regulations. Many of these are so different from the US that you wouldn’t even think of them until it’s too late
Again, asking for help from a professional who knows the export market is a big help. Every country has its own perks when it comes to regulations. Many of these are so different from the US that you wouldn’t even think of them until it’s too late (i.e. when you get a penalty for not complying with various legal requirements).
Your best bet would be someone who knows both US and local regulations. It’s not easy to find professionals like that, but luckily, there are several organizations that can help you. Check out the US embassy or consulate in your chosen market, or ask for assistance from Export.gov, a governmental organization dedicated to helping US businesses export.
Find a Local Partner
Teaming up with a local distributor or shop owner is the best way for a successful market entry in your chosen country. Local partners can help you navigate different rules, cultural norms, and market expectations.
Finding a trustworthy local partner is not easy, but not impossible. Check out portals like Alibaba.com, or even local business directories in your export country. Again, US organizations mentioned above can provide valuable assistance for you.
Map Out Logistics
Prepare a sound logistics plan. You need to map out every single stage in the logistics process to avoid unpleasant surprises. For useful tips, check out our article on logistics hacks for small businesses.
You need to map out every single stage in the logistics process to avoid unpleasant surprises
Selecting the right shipping company is very important for your success. There are a variety of providers you can choose from according to your specific requirements.
Do you need warehousing on top of transportation? Our article on 3PL providers can help you determine your needs.
Devise Smooth Processes
Bear in mind that exporting is a long-term business, which means that the processes you’ll devise will stay with you for years. Cut out tiresome and cost-intensive solutions as soon as possible.
Like global wire transfers. Do you want to spend hours of time and lots of money on slow, uncertain, and costly bank procedures? It’s not the best way to start an export business. But since sending money overseas is inevitable, you’ll have to come up with a sustainable solution to save time and money.
Veem allows you to send and request global transfers with just a click. You can track all your transactions on your dashboard, eliminating uncertainties and saving valuable time.
Veem charges no wire fees and offers competitive foreign exchange rates, which saves you a considerable amount of money.
Sign up for a free Veem account and enter the world of global business.