The majority of our clients are export businesses and in all of our years of trading, we’ve learnt a thing or two from them, especially the successful ones.
We thought we’d take the time to write this post on tips on making your export business a successful one.
1) All starts with the branding
Branding is important for any business. However, the guidelines for an export business is slightly different when it comes to this, in that, presenting an international image is very important. Whether you’re exporting to China, USA or somewhere else, as soon as you start interacting with business customers who are based overseas, the rules are slightly different and your businesses needs to come off as one with an international presence.
Some branding tips
- When including your phone number, remember to include the country dialing code
- Include the country name alongside your zip code
- Your logo should signify and resonate with an international audience, especially with a certain country if you plan to export to it more than others
2) Having a website
as part of your marketing strategy
is the bare minimum for most businesses, whether you’re dealing with international clients or not. However, for an export business, your website will play a much bigger part to determine your business success, or lack thereof.
Think about it. Whenever you receive a business card from someone , if you’re interested, then what’s the first thing you do? We’re guessing, it’s checking out their website.
While you may be able to get away with not having a website if you’ve built a reputation or a brand already, that is not the case when it comes to international sales. More often than not, you’ll contact the prospect by a phone call or email and the first thing they’ll want to do is check your business out. And what easier way to do that than a website?
So, don’t hesitate to invest in a professional website that is user friendly and works across all platforms such as desktop but mobile and tablet computers also. The return can far outweigh the costs.
3) Know your market
We’re guessing that you decided to start an export business because you’ve spotted a gap in the market or perhaps some other good reason on why it’s a good idea to do so.
Now that you’ve taken the first step, getting market data is very important to help you make the right decisions.
We’re no experts but rather than taking the obvious route and exporting a popular commodity to a popular country (as an example), it may be better to find niche goods to export to an emerging economy. And, how do you know which country that is? It’s answers like this that a market research can provide. There are many market research firms and you should even be able to find some that are specialising in export businesses.
If you’ve been in business for some time already, then you may have your own in-house data you can use to make deductions. For example, if you find that you tend to get enquiries from a certain country more than others, then that could be an obvious sign that demand from that country for that item is present and/or growing.
Of course, if you want to carry out the research, there are loads of tools available online to help you achieve this.
We hope you find part 1 of this guide useful. Stay in-tune for part 2 where we’ll cover other areas such as analysis, networking, negotiation and so on.