Sometimes it isn’t easy running a business. You start off with an idea. Something that takes over your brain as you start to think about all of the possibilities. That idea soon becomes an at home business. Something you work on tirelessly. Over time it turns into a business that becomes your full time focus, and you then be able to call yourself a successful small business.
But, the main thing to consider is this, is it better to be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond? The meaning behind that is that if you have managed to create yourself a big business opportunity, then are you happy just sailing on through for the rest of your business days as a big fish, or do you see the potential of expansion and even exporting products overseas to a whole new market? Becoming the small fish in the big wide world.
The main issue really, is that there really isn’t many small ponds anymore. Yes you can be the local hero and a business within your local community, but with the online platform so fierce and the power of social media, you have the global market at your fingertips already, and so do your customers. Of course, there are things you need to consider. Is there a market for what you have to offer beyond the country you reside in? Can you easily export it? What costs are involved? Is it feasible? However, you only get to know the answers to those questions by actually exploring the opportunity and the truth is, not all businesses export, which could mean that there is a huge potential for exporting your products. With that in mind, I wanted to look into why it could be worth it to consider exporting your products and expanding your business in this way.
The main benefits of exporting for you as a business
There are some major benefits to exporting as business, and now with the internet and social media available to all, it is easier than ever to sell to a worldwide audience. There is also a huge demand for products that have come overseas, which is why we see so much imported into our own countries. This is where you can really capitalise on the materials you use to create the product, the process and the level of care. All adding to your unique selling points when selling abroad. There is also a level of demand for certain goods made in certain countries, which again you could capitalise on. Finally, the profit margin could be increased, while you, of course, need to consider additional costs of exporting, the price you can sell for would be far greater due to the demand of the product. Making it a real profitable venture. Exporting could also help you to avoid any domestic market swings and help keep your business afloat when things locally are not working out for you. Another real positive point to make is that it can help enhance your company image. Not just globally but also for your local markets as well.
How you can do it
I’m guessing it all sounds very positive right now, and, of course, it may seem like a real viable option for you and your business. But, how do you go about exporting in the first place. What do you need to think about? This is when a little homework into the countries you are wanting to export to, and looking online at companies that specialize in exporting goods where a freight forwarder is an advantage, then once you know your options you can start to explore some of the more finer details. There are different options of exporting. You could try out sea freight which is one of the most popular methods of shipping to other countries. You can do larger quantities in a container, however it can take a few weeks to reach the destination. Other options to consider would be air freight. This is when getting costing for both and working out what happens at the other end in regards to distribution is a must.
What you should be thinking about before doing it
One of the first things to do is to consider analysing the market before even taking any steps to export. It is important for you to understand whether or not there is a demand for your product in that area or country. Is there a competitive advantage for you to export? This should help answer whether or not you want to take this further. You might also need to consider whether you speak the language in the country you are exporting to and whether or not there are other companies within that country that could pose as being a competitor. You might also want to think about using social media to gauge a reaction from your current and engaged audience. This could also help to identify whether your business is ready for the export market.
Making sure your business is ready for the next step
Is your business ready to take the next step? That is another area that you need to place some focus on. One thing you could do would be to analyse your website and social media engagement. Take a look at the demographics of your audience. Has anyone from other countries ever visited your site or engaged with you on social media? This could also be a big indication as to whether or not there is market for you to export your products. However, you also need to consider whether or not your website can handle traffic from other countries. This is when you may want to add different language options, different shipping functionalities and also enable a shopping cart to tally up a total in a foreign currency. You might also want consider the option of using distributors in the country in which you want to export. This means that your focus is on the actual export side of things, and then delivery and transportation beyond that point relies with your distributors. Of course, that means you have a cost price between you and the distributor and you lose any further profit margin, but you could also make a steady income this way, and be able to build up your business globally. Doing all of this homework ahead of time, will help you avoid any headaches in the future. Not just that, but knowing the facts ahead of time helps you to avoid wasting money.
Knowing the pitfalls ahead
There are, of course, many pitfalls on the long journey ahead which is exporting. You need to create the foundation in order to be fully successful in this line of business. This means thinking about red tape that could potentially be in your way. First of all, you need to think about licensing. This is where export compliance should be a high priority for you and your business. There are other aspects of general day to day business such as currency and conversion rates, how you plan to action and handle returns and refunds, and even having an appreciation for the language and cultural differences. You could also use exporting as an opportunity to reduce stock quantities of a product that perhaps isn’t doing well locally, but could be interesting globally. It enables you to recuperate the costs and even make a profit.
It can highlight new directions and markets ahead of time
Exporting products means that your business opens up to a global market, and while this is at your fingertips down to the world wide web, you can also take other aspects of this move that could help your business grow and expand. This enables you to gain a greater understanding of the markets needs, which could help you to develop further products, that could see you being ahead in regards to demand. Of course, doing this could again help you with profits and growing your business significantly.
Could your business grow at a faster rate?
Finally, exporting opens up a whole new level of customers to your business. As we explored earlier, gone are the days where you can really be that big fish in a small pond thanks to the internet. So it is worth ensuing that you take all of the benefits with the negatives and make an informed decision. Having a larger audience to supply to, no matter which way you decide to do it, can give you a better chance of increasing your profits, and of course, then expanding your business further.
There is no hiding from the fact that taking your business down an export route is going to prove interesting and beneficial to your business. There are always going to pitfalls in the road ahead. What you need to decide upon is whether or not you think the time, effort and money invested is going to be worthwhile to you. If it is, then this could prove to be a very lucrative move for you and your business.