When you start a business, you will almost certainly be appealing to a small customer base.
You won’t want to stretch yourself thin, and as such, it does make sense to keep things tight and under control. Otherwise, you can end up in a situation where the cost is larger than any profit that you could hope to gain. However, as your business grows, you will gain more interest on the business market. You will gain clients, customers and be able to quickly build up business leads, perhaps eventually reaching a point where it’s time to think about expansion.
When you do expand your company, you should start to look towards the international market. When the possibility to sell internationally opens up, there is a great chance to dramatically increase profit levels and take your company to the next level. In fact, you might even have the money and funds to build up a second business while your first continues to rise.
One of the greatest benefits of the modern market is that it is now all but completely globalised. You can buy from anywhere, sell to anyone and continue to work towards that profitability levels that you always hoped for. But that doesn’t mean that cracking the international market is easy and there are a few tips that we can provide here as well as advice on what services you should perhaps use.
Let’s start by thinking regarding money transfers.
Transferring money securely
When you run a business and sell on the international market, you need to make sure that you do have a way to transfer money securely. If you can’t handle money the right way, then you will be in a position where your business is vulnerable to theft and other financial issues such as lost funds.
The best way to handle this is to make sure that you are using a professional international money transfer service. You can use the bank, but this can actually take a long time and is often not at all efficient. As such, you might want to look into alternative financing options for transferring money like cryptocurrency. Through the channels of cryptocurrency you can easily transfer funds through a channel that is, you guessed it, encrypted. As such, there is no need to worry about the potential that your money could be stolen.
You do need a way to transfer money of course because you might have a branch of your business set up in an international location. If that’s the case, you need to make sure that you can get the money you make back to the home office location of your company.
Don’t forget that you will also have a lot to pay for when setting up your business internationally. There will be a need for new marketing campaigns, perhaps a property that needs to be purchased and certainly deals to be made with suppliers of materials. If you are selling products, you’re going to have to decide whether to ship them from your home country or set up production lines in the international locations that you’re selling to.
Typically, this will depend on the cost of each option. You should speak with a financial advisor and look at the possibilities as well as what would be most useful for your business model. However, if you are shipping your products to the international locations, this is another aspect of expanding your business that you will need to explore.
Shipping your products
Shipping your products will be necessary if you are unable to or choose not to make the items in the new international location. If that’s the case, it’s important to find a shipping method that is both cost-effective and rapid. Remember, if you are selling from your location, international customers will still expect a rapid delivery option. You need to explore the possibilities on the market and determine which is most beneficial to you. Ideally, you should give customers a few different options depending on how much they are willing to pay for fast deliveries.
What if you are shipping hazardous materials or items with a risk of spillage? If that’s the case, then you should make sure you are using a service like C.L. Smith. Specialising in hazardous products, they can ensure that they are delivered safely to your customers and clients.
If you are shipping your items, it’s important to be aware that the cheapest option is probably not the best. There are many different services like this on the market for business owners to use. Check out the reviews of the company that you’re considering using and then decide whether you want to trust them with your most important asset – your business reputation. Remember, if there are any issues with deliveries or indeed packaging, your company will suffer because of it. Your customers will blame you for choosing to use the company in the first place, so you do have to treat this decision with great care.
Set up a branch or use existing platforms?
When you sell internationally, you have two options. You can set up a fresh branch for your business in the new location. Or, you can use existing platforms to offer your products and services. For instance, you might have seen great success selling a product in your home country. Now, you’re looking to expand and grow for greater levels of profit. If that’s the case, you could consider simply listing the product on a site like Amazon.
This does give buyers all the information they need to purchase your product. They can immediately decide to buy, and you can use an existing paying platform, simplifying matters a great deal. It’s actually a lot cheaper than setting up a brand new branch of business, but it does limit your potential gains. When you sell on a massive online store like this, you will be competing against a large number of businesses, including companies that Amazon and similar sites may offer more support too.
As such, while it takes more effort it might be in your best interest to branch out and separate yourself from the competition as much as possible.
Of course, if you are selling internationally that also means that you will be appealing to a new customer base to buy your products. Be aware that when companies branch out internationally, their marketing does change. They don’t use the same promotional campaigns that were effective in their home country. Why is this?
Well, new international locations typically also mean new cultures at play and certain cultures won’t respond in the same way to marketing and promotion. Look at this way. Would a marketing campaign that worked for Burger King in America be as effective in Saudi Arabia? Of course not and that’s why they use different marketing. After all successful marketing will be relatable to the audience. The viewer or reader needs to see it and immediately connect if they are going to want to buy the product or use the service. This can be achieved if they are targeted correctly.
Of course, before you even think about using different types of marketing you should probably test the waters. You can do this by exploring certain areas of social media. You need to make sure that there is an international demand for your product. Otherwise, an expansion could actually lead you to a massive loss, and you certainly don’t want that.
The good news is that there are various companies that will check out consumer demand for you and you can then act on their findings. For instance, you might discover that while there isn’t much demand in your previously targeted company, there could be elsewhere. It’s simply a matter of making sure that you are pointing your business in the right direction.
Of course, once you are sure there is a demand there for your company, you then need to think about setting up an effective marketing campaign. You should look into using the services of a professional SEO company. While you may have had a certain degree of success yourself with SEO, international marketing is always a completely new playing field. One that is fraught with challenges that you may not be able to overcome yourself. As such, adding a strong supporting company will put you in the right position to succeed.
Get the funding
Then again, you might find that after looking into all the details you don’t actually have the money to proceed. Should you let this stop you in your tracks. Of course not. All you need to do is make sure that you are ready to seek out potential investors who would be willing to fund a growing startup. There are plenty on the market in the position to do this, and they are simply waiting for you or perhaps someone else to present them with the right pitch.
We hope this helps you navigate the uneasy waters of selling on an international market. Be aware that selling overseas can be a struggle but the potential profits are often too great to resist.