At some point in your business' life, you might be contacted by
someone in a far-away land who's heard about your business
somehow (probably through the Internet). This will be your first
encounter with the global market. For many businesses, once
you've conquered your local area and done business by post or
email with other areas of the country, dipping a toe into global
markets seems like the next big step.
Developing internationalized information is a balancing act, and
companies often grossly underestimate the level of effort
required to create applications for use in different markets.
Preparing to Export
When you're preparing to export your products, there are quite a
few things you need to do. Firstly, make them as light as
possible for the purposes of international shipping. Check that
you'd be able to get the things you're selling to the place
where you plan to sell them without it becoming prohibitively
expensive. Next, check if there are any customs requirements --
you might find that either your own country or the target
country has laws that will require you to register what you're
sending and perhaps pay extra taxes. On the other hand, selling
internationally may mean that you don't have to charge your own
country's sales tax.
Obviously most of these things don't apply to non-physical
products. One thing that you still need to be careful about,
though, is currency fluctuations -- how stable is the currency
you plan to start trading in? If it has problems, you might want
to price products in your own currency instead.
Look for Niches All Over Again
When you're trying to sell things to international customers,
you need to make sure that there is a market in each country.
Something that is very useful and in-demand in your country
might just cause confusion abroad -- or, likewise, something
that's only moderately popular where you are might be seen as
If you're not sure, you could talk to a few local businesspeople
about how they think your product would be perceived, and they
may be able to suggest a suitable target market for you. As
always, research is key.
Produce Internationally, Supply Internationally
If you're going to start exporting, you might want to consider
importing as well. If you buy in bulk, you can generally
things far cheaper from developing countries, especially the
'Asian Tiger' countries like China, Taiwan, Indonesia and South
Korea. Give it a try -- you could be delighted to find that they
can make your product for a fraction of what it costs you, and
all you have to do is a little quality control.
I understand that this approach is particularly useful for
clothing products, which are labour-intensive yet can be
produced cheaply and well by these countries. Note that you're
unlikely to be exploiting anyone -- the country you're importing
from simply has a lower cost of living. To be extra sure, shy
away from offers of having things made in developing countries
Try to Be Culturally Sensitive
When you're dealing with international customers, you need to
take their culture into consideration. In some countries
everyone knows English, while in others they would be offended
if you didn't get your materials translated. For all you know,
the name of your product might be a rude word in some language
or another, or the marketing might be focusing on benefits that
people from some countries are unlikely to respond to.
This is one of the reasons why you're best off selling to
countries that you have some experience with. Ideally, you
should have the ability to speak the language, as well as having
spent some time in the country. Failing that, read as many
guides as you can and see if you can meet with people of that
Note that you should be especially careful about dealing with
countries where there is some history or possibility of
political unrest, as you can lose a lot this way.
You Are Not a Jetsetter
Finally, remember that it's a bad idea to start flying around
the world to pitch your products or meet your customers,
especially in the age of the Internet when almost everything can
be done from your home. Did you really get into home business to
throw away your profits on expensive flights and hotels?
About the author:
Original Source: Articles-Galore.com
Information supplied and written by Lee Asher of The Home Income Portal
Home of Serious Online Business Options.
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