Expanding into new markets can be an exciting and scary time, the idea is to minimise as much risk as you can by empowering yourself with information that will add to your organisations growth. Here are 10 best practices when considering exporting your products.
- Get connected.Find the buyers overseas that would potentially have an interest in your product, it helps to have a contact in the country you’re targeting. It is even better to have a clear understanding of the targeted country, the stores available the language and culture and the interest of your final consumer.
- Put yourself out there.To find contacts, you may need to travel attend expos, list online with as many directories as you can find. Also ensure a clear social media strategy that will best display your brand. I would recommend adding friends on social media within your targeted countries, this will help you to get a feel for your intended export market and the interest of your final consumer.
- Whether it’s through trade magazines that have an international reach or online advertising — it’s important to spread the word about your company, Social media and facebook advertising can help you to target your specified regions.
- Watch your cultural Ps and Qs. Although selling through a foreign distributor can make your job much easier, you may miss out on much of the upside profits , too. So, it often makes the most financial sense to sell to foreign consumers directly. But be prepared to get outside your comfort zone. Beyond the basic language barrier, exporting directly typically involves wading through varying levels of taxes and tariffs, as well as different currencies and banking practices.
- Get help.To make a go of exporting, you’ll either need to devote your attention to making it work, consider finding the right people to take care of specific tasks in order to lighten the load and manage the admin of paperwork you likely to encounter.
- Commit a manager to the project
Exporting isn’t a once-and-done event, so you’ll want to make a commitment to it. Consider dedicating a top-level manager to the project who can help form your company’s export strategy. You might also spend some time analyzing your company’s possible competitive advantages abroad, as well as whether your company has the financial resources to support exporting. To export products successfully, you may need to hire added staff members, as well as devote working capital to boost production.
- Examine market opportunities
You will have a far greater impact by focusing on two to three potential markets or regions where your business is needed than by trying to cast a net over an entire country, considering potential trade agreements for your country can help develop a winning export strategy.
- Consider product adaptations
Then consider adapting your company’s products and services for different markets will allow your brand to resonate with your final consumer.
- Choose a good freight forwarder
Companies can ship products internationally from S.A via freight forwarders and fulfillment companies such as eFulfillment Serviceand Shipwire. The latter ships to Canada and the U.K., where it has warehouses that will transport goods internationally to any country covered by FedEx, UPS or the local parcel carrier. Businesses might also consider using export management software such as Integration Point and TridentGLOBAL to help manage tariff schedules and foreign regulations.For the most control over shipment needs, companies could opt for a joint venture with a foreign company or establish a presence within the countries to which they export.
- Keep taxes in mind
However, keep in mind tax consequences, advises Jeffrey Olin, an expert in international tax for management consultancy Grant Thornton. Typically, representative offices establish preparatory services such as market research and coordinating between companies. Be advised that if they are involved in any direct profit making activities, this could result in further income tax.
- Secure financing and find incentives
Typically, commercial banks shy away from lending against foreign receivables, However there are some that are willing to finance small business with export working capital, so just doing the homework will guide you in making informed decision and reducing the risk. Also identify incentives with DTI or Wesgro that may assist in obtaining that machines that can assist in pushing production, or find the customer in foreign markets through expos.