Taking Your Show On The Road? How To Sell Your Goods Internationally
Hello, business owner.....you are no doubt working hard today trying to expand your empire and grow your dream a little bit bigger. You've got goals, you’re currently crushing your little corner of the world, but have you thought about how you are going to expand nationally and one day, internationally?
Going global is a worldwide movement—thanks to the evolution and expansion of the internet and its influence on business, it has never been more essential that you take steps to expand your business internationally in order to stay competitive.
For a small or modest business, the large task of international expansion can quickly overshadow existing business activities. The need to analyze your potential market for success is absolutely essential when considering this move. Don’t let the enormity of this task deter you from your dreams of expansion, however. Follow these strategic steps for international expansion success:
Analyze your risk factors
Prepare a market analysis to see what the impact will be on your business. Answer the following questions when analyzing your risk:
- Does my product or service have the potential to sell in the global market?
- Will my product fill a gap that local companies have not been able to?
- Will global markets be likely to buy my product, which could be higher priced than local competitors?
- How long will it take me to capture targeted sales?
Obtaining these answers will give you insight as to how aggressive your marketing campaign must be during the first phase of international business building.
Develop your strategy and business plan
Much like you did when you began your business journey, you will have to spend some time developing your international business plan. Local markets have their own unique nuances; know what you are getting into with regard to local regulations in other countries. Define your short term and long term goals, and complete a project plan with a timeline for specific steps. Revisit your initial business plan and see if those beginning steps would be appropriate for implementation in the global market.
Establish a solid team to oversee international operations
While it may be tempting to hire local as you expand, this is risky business, as these individuals haven’t had the training and expertise with your company that your seasoned employees do. Keep this step in the back of your mind and, for now, establish an internal team of trusted associates who can devote their time to the expansion. After all, they are already familiar with your company policies, products, and existing customer base. International branches will be easier to set up after you have an established customer base in your new locations.
Prepare your company to accept international payments
In order for your business to withstand the challenges of international commerce, you will have to put systems in place to accept international forms of payment. Working with established e-commerce sites that already deal with currency conversion will be helpful as you begin this process. If you wish to transfer money to India for one of your vendors, for example, you’ll need mediums that convert dollars to rupees for a successful transaction. Establish the locations that you would like to do business in, and then proceed to make sure your systems of exchange are in order before conducting any business.
Ready your organization for impending expansion
It may seem as if you have an endless to-do list when it comes to securing your international footing, but every step you take to solidify your presence financially and legally will ensure your future is established on solid ground. Develop quality relationships with local businesses who can help you navigate cultural differences, local laws, and regulations. Evaluate the organizational structure you will need to put in place as you begin hiring and training employees in your new locations. Create policy handbooks and training manuals that will be appropriate for all locations. Manage aspects of payroll and human resources from your central hub, and consider outsourcing for some of these essential aspects of your business.
The more you can prepare for expansion, the more likely it is that you will be successful in the long run. Take a deep breath, start marking those things off of your to-do list, and get ready for the wonderful things that will come your way as a result of building your dream bigger than you have ever imagined!