A small business can reach a large customer base, thanks to today’s easy-to-reach global marketplace. If you’re currently doing most of your business locally, consider these reasons for expanding to markets in other countries.
In 2013, more than 300,000 U.S. companies exported goods or services, according to the Department of Commerce. And surprisingly, about 98 percent of these companies had fewer than 500 employees. Will your small business soon be among them?
When you find that your local market has become saturated or has otherwise not responded well to your marketing efforts, reach beyond the borders. If you sell motorcycle accessories, for example, it makes sense to target nations in which the motorcycle is an everyday item (and not a luxury item like it is in the U.S.).
Enjoy the Ricochet Effect
Establishing a marketing presence in a foreign country often results in an increase in domestic sales. When your clients in, say, Japan recognize you, then you may find that you’re able to obtain more Japanese clients within the U.S.
Do It Wisely
Doing business overseas does not necessarily require your physical presence. You shouldn’t have to fly back and forth between the U.S. and India to set up shop there. An established international trade manager has already made connections and has experience in dealing with language and cultural barriers.
Play By International Rules
There is more to doing business globally than converting currency. The process is fairly complex, and can be daunting when you’re facing it for the first time. What do you know about the European value-added tax and how it will affect your pricing? How much do you know about import duties and fees in China and how they will impact local manufacturing relationships? Are local laws or U.S. regulations in place that will have a bearing on the sale of your goods?
Fortunately, your international trade manager knows plenty about these hurdles because it’s what we do. We can help you determine realistic taxes, freight, duties, and fees so that you can comfortably set a price that will be profitable for you. And we’ll help you uncover local flavors that may impact marketing or packaging decisions. Certain colors, for example, have negative connotations is certain countries, so you don’t want your boxes to be flashing large logos in hues that mean “death” or “bad luck.”
Do What You Would Do Here… and More
You wouldn’t sell within the U.S. without first knowing your customers’ wants and needs. You shouldn’t do it globally either. Take the time to research your customers. Your international trade manager can help you identify your customer base and go from there to determine how to get your product into their hands.
Go For It
The sky’s the limit. Expanding to the global marketplace will help you take your business to an entirely new level. Making good decisions upfront will ensure that your investments of time and money reap rewards. And that first good decision you make should be hiring an international trade manager.
Contact Walker World Trade today to get started.