Each and every country in the world will differ in growth rates, meaning in one country your business may be booming, yet in another it may be failing miserably. For this reason, many business owners are constantly looking at directing new business to new international markets.
Trading in different areas gives both small and big businesses the opportunity to grow and develop their business and brand. Indeed, if companies want to grow, it is essential they look overseas to where the growth is.
However, when businesses hear of worldwide opportunities in countries like Brazil, China, India and Russia, the prospect of where to start can be rather daunting. To succeed in the trading world, you need to start thinking like an exporter.
Use what is on your Doorstep
More than a third of all companies that attended Export Week had never exported before, meaning they had little knowledge on the subject. The reasons why non-exporting companies attend such events is to get information on international trading. They want to learn how to get started and which country is best to target for their market.
There are many places business owners can get information on exporting and they should not be afraid to use everything on their doorstep. Attend as many events as possible and even consider speaking to other business owners to get friendly advice from them.
Protect what is yours
When considering trading overseas, it is likely you will have many different worries. One of the main worries you have will probably be if your business is protected.
In some ways, the way we do business locally is quite similar to how it is carried out when exporting abroad. To ensure you are protected, you should register your trademark and protect your intellectual property in your country of residence.
Once you are fully protected in your local area, it is then time to start looking at trading overseas. It is important once you do begin trading overseas that you also protect your intellectual property there as well.
You’re Just a Small Fish in a Big Pond
When it comes to planning the next step of the big international move, you may start to feel like a tiny dot in a big world – trust me this is a scary prospect. However, don’t let this thought put you off.
For those small businesses stepping out into the big scary world alone, you will be able to employ help to find international contacts by contacting your local Chambers of Commerce (or the equivalent, such as UKTI in the United Kingdom.) The organization can help arrange meetings with potential buyers.
Understand your Finances
One of the biggest put offs to new international traders is the financial aspect. Worried companies often ask how they can finance their export plans and what if the dreaded happens – what if they don’t get paid for their goods and services.
By receiving professional advice, you will learn about working capital, bonds and credit insurance to reduce financial risks overseas. Having such knowledge is essential to understand cash flow differences for different markets and how to secure a safe method of payment for goods and services.
You will also have to learn about the different tax implications when trading overseas and how this may affect you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help as there will be many people in the same situation as you are.