In 2016, we live in a truly global economy and if you aren’t looking at trading internationally, you’re most likely missing an opportunity to grow your business. That said, there are many risks associated with entering foreign markets, so it’s important you take the time to research first.
Here are a few export tips to help get you started:
Perhaps one of the reasons that more SMEs don’t export is that they don’t know how to. Learn more about what it takes, get knowledge of the markets you want to trade in, take advice from those that have done it themselves and understand the risks involved. Get any training you need.
There are plenty of resources available for new exporters. Government agencies, such as Austrade, and bodies such as the Export Council of Australia (ECA) help SMEs and small businesses thrive both domestically and abroad and have a range of tools and services to assist. For example, the ECA website has information on live opportunities for SMEs looking to export plus industry news, legislative updates and networking events.
Choose the right place
Selecting where you want to do business can be a tricky exercise but our big tip is to let consumer demand drive your strategy. Make sure you choose to sell your product where there is a genuine need for it. Is there the potential for growth? What sort of consumer is likely to benefit from your product and what demographic are they likely to be in? This will enable you to narrow down key markets or tailor your products so they are suitable for export.
Make sure you investigate new markets thoroughly. Consider foreign competition, local customs, laws and industry structure and tweak your plans accordingly. Government advisers can help you with this, with many agencies having dedicated language and culture staff to assist you on your approach and plan a route to success overseas.
Choose perfect partners
It’s a good idea to choose to work with partners who are already familiar with the market and can give you advice on entering the market. Where possible, it can really help to take the time to meet overseas suppliers face-to-face to ensure you understand each others businesses; this will also start the relationship on the right foot. Take time to compare partners and don’t be afraid to ask for customer reviews or references.
Accept foreign currencies
Accepting foreign currencies can make your business more appealing to international buyers. Accepting U.S. dollars, for example, is often a great selling point, as this is the most traded currency in the world and makes the transaction much easier for your customers.
Repatriating your funds from overseas and converting them back in to AUD is privy to exchange rate fluctuations too. Be sure to consult a certified Foreign Exchange specialist like World First who can assist with reducing the currency risk surrounding your payments, meaning your profit margins are protected.
Consider online marketplaces
Selling through online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Rakuten is a great way to test international waters. World First can help you expand globally by providing access to 69 international marketplaces and 8 payment gateways. Our specialised eCommerce team can provide advice on getting started, how to make the most of each marketplace and the best ways to repatriate your funds.
More information for online sellers can be found on our blog.
Be there long-term
Once you’ve started to export, commit to sticking it out. There’s nothing worse for customers that discover you and decide to trade regularly with you, only to be disappointed when you are no longer around a year or two later.
Once you’re up and running and you need help with your international transfers, you’ll know where to come to. World First’s currency experts can help, and you’ll get our great exchange rates, which could save you money compared to your bank.
The road to becoming a master of overseas commerce won’t be an easy one, but with the right support and partner structure, you’ll soon be looking for your next international challenge!
Speak to a currency specialist today on 1800 701 540 or visit us online
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