An online search on the topic of how to start a business might have shown you the viability of the import export trade. It allows entrepreneurs to develop their brand globally and reap the rewards. The risks are spread out over different markets and the benefits are high. While the opportunities abound in this trade, it would be beneficial to plan your moves wisely. Successful exporters take their time consider some vital aspects to their chosen line of trade. Take a look at some important tips that will help you make more successful export deals:
The Preparation Stage
The best import export ideas often fail when the preparation stage is rushed. But if you prepare properly before starting out you have a higher chance of success. Consider these important steps when you launching your international brand:
- Image Building
In the sensitive international trade arena, the image you project of yourself and your company means a lot. Your credibility needs to shine from the get go. Your import export business will benefit from a few touches that add value to its global appeal. Start by adjusting contact details to the international platform adding your country’s code. Even if your company is still a one-person show, learn to use the plural pronoun “we” to give an impression of size.
Get all the assistance you can to familiarize yourself with programs and processes. Most likely, there are other traders in your area dealing in this line of business. Find out who they are and request an audience with them. They might make it smooth sailing for you by introducing you to other significant players. Make use of online resources to get as much information as you can on the import export trade in general. Attend workshops and seminars that focus on the topic and make sure you are armed with knowledge before setting out.
- Identify Your Market
While the world is full of import export business opportunities, you have to select and target your markets wisely. You need to search for credible data on the consumption trends and import figures for different products. You also need to familiarize yourself with the cultural context and other pertinent issues in that market. Consider the language, religion, work ethic and social norms in that region before setting out. Your long term business plan should incorporate these details. This will make it easy to come up with an effective solution to each target market. Attend culture and language seminars so as to operate from an informed perspective. This will reduce reliance on translators and middle men.
- Understanding the Market Dynamics
Every market is different. A product that performs well in one place might be a complete failure in another. The packaging you use for one market might be considered inappropriate in another. Understanding the unique traits that define each context is paramount to success. Additionally, these markets are dynamic. This means that a concept that makes sense today might no longer be viable tomorrow. Find a way to keep updated on evolving trends in your target markets so as to assess viability before the launch. In the long run, this will allow for consistent differentiation. Your export import business will always be different from the competition and willing to change to match market rhythms.
The Execution Stage
- The Importance of Timing
In business, timing is everything. Launching a company or product at the wrong time could lead to utter failure. What determines the appropriateness of the timing chosen? While operating on the international level, timing should be determined by global trade factors. Economic and political factors as well as currency fluctuations are just some of the pertinent factors that mark the difference between success and failure. Always stay abreast of developments not just in your target market but on the global scale. At times, the activities and changes of major trading zones exert an impact worldwide.
- Devise a Strategy
The export strategy has got to be the most important step to success. It is the heart that keeps the rest of the business structure alive and functional. It does not have to be complex especially since you need a different strategy for each market. But it needs to be comprehensive, clear and concise. It needs to factor in all pertinent factors and suggest a plan to handle all eventualities.
Fortunately, it is not that hard to get an export strategy example to help you tailor your own plan. But you need to ensure that the plan you choose to follow incorporates some basic details.
- Detailed analysis for each target market
- Product analysis and development
- Regulations governing trade
- Pricing strategy
- Continuous assessment methodology
- Choose a Sales Route
There are so many options when it comes to choosing a sales route for your products. The most common is of course to sell directly. Its benefit is that you do not have to split profits. But it is also the hardest as it requires you to do all the hard work. It takes a lot of research and patience but is worthwhile in the end. Once you establish contact in the target markets, you simply need to keep them happy for repeat purchases.
Another option is to use a distributor to market and sell your products. Distributors often have a ready market for products. They might be well-placed to sell big volumes. This in a way compensates for the limited profit margin per item. Getting multiple distributors in different markets is a clever way to keep your goods moving consistently and to make a name for yourself.
Sales agents are yet another route you could choose. They broker deals between you and the buyer and make a specified commission. Their biggest benefit is that they usually have networks in place. This means that they can generate interest for new products with ease and get importers’ contacts fast. They are motivated by high commission percentages and effectively deliver on the task. Their main demerit is that at times they juggle multiple companies and products at the same time. In such cases they might fail to give your product the attention it deserves to make expected profits. You might also lose them together with your clients to your competition if you are not careful.
Weigh the benefits of each of these sales routes carefully before settling on one. You could also choose to use several of them together to gain the most and cover the risks.
- Optimize Product Packaging
Packaging is rarely discussed as a separate topic but it plays a vital role in the import export trade. Packaging will determine how much you spend on shipping and also the risk of damage. Ensure that your manufacturer takes these important factors into consideration while choosing the packaging material. It is also good to adjust the design for different export markets. This should focus on appeal and cost. Some markets will tend to favor high quality packaging regardless of the effect on cost. In other markets, product price is everything and you need to keep production costs to a minimum. This would mean using the cheapest packaging material that meets market standards.
- Proper Pricing
While there are no hard and fast rules to product pricing, you need to approach this area with care. Buyers will often compare prices quietly and settle for the most competitive. They do not have the time to assess the reasons behind high prices. Moreover, once you are identified as an expensive supplier, it will take a lot of effort to undo that effect. So it is best to start out right. Depending on the product’s uniqueness, availability and market trends, you will need to adopt different pricing structures for the different target markets. The aim of business is to make a profit. So sell as much as you can at the best profit possible while maintaining a competitive edge.
- Look for Business Opportunities
Do not underestimate the importance of events like trade fairs to get export deals. An exhibition stand provides potential buyers the opportunity to learn about your product first hand. This is especially useful if you are introducing a new product. But even for popular products, the fair gives you the chance to put a face to your online business brand. It is therefore a viable tool in creating trusting relationships with potential buyers. It also offers the chance to get contacts and network.
Advertising is another useful way to create business opportunities. Social media provides and inexpensive venue for placing targeted adverts. But whichever method you use, always conduct a cost-benefit analysis. This will ensure that you only choose those methods that guarantee a generous return on investment.
- Assess Various Funding Options
The biggest hurdle that beginners face in executing their exporting strategy international business is funding. Most of the opportunities require a big investment so as to make any reasonable returns. Fortunately there are numerous small business funding options. These offer a viable recourse to avail new traders to the benefits of wholesale trade. They also make it easy to negotiate competitive cash prices from the manufacturer. This effectively increases the profit margin and gives your company an edge over others. It encourages manufacturer cooperation as they work with the assurance of immediate payment.
Be careful though when selecting from the wide range of small business loans available. The most alluring ones usually offer the toughest repayment terms and interest rates. So read the small print and ask as many questions as necessary before signing for one.
- Choose Convenient Payment Plans
Invoice payment plans are as many as funding options. The most common form of payment for international business transactions is the Letter of Credit. It is tailored to safeguard the interests of both parties. It comprises an assurance from the buyer’s bank that payment will be made as soon as specified requirements are met.
This is one of the most crucial steps to completing a successful export deal. Whatever method is chosen should be foolproof so as to reduce on risk. Always assess your counterpart’s financial capacity before extending credit facilities.
- Get Proper Documentation
Complications in the process of exporting mostly arise from the fact that each market comes with a unique set of documentation requirements. You can access these requirements from the relevant Chambers of Commerce. Without the correct documentation, you will not be able to clear customs. Your goods might be rejected resulting in loss. So make sure you have the right information pertaining to specific target markets and follow the requirements to the letter.
- Protect Your Business Interests
Your export import business is a risky affair. You are dealing with suppliers and buyers from all corners of the globe. While they might seem well-intentioned, some of them are seasoned scammers out for a quick buck. It is imperative that you secure your business interests or risk collapse. Always get everything down in writing, make agreements legally binding and never start a transaction without squaring out every detailed with the other party.
Taking into account all of the above steps of export procedure and following the useful suggestions will lead to success. They will help you to prepare effectively, execute your plan as desired and follow through for consistent results. But you do not have to do all this by yourself.
How Waystocap Helps to Make Your Export Deals Successful
Waystocap offers a lot of helpful features to assist new and seasoned traders alike. It is the first African B2B platform to offer a suitable trading environment for this complex market. On the platform, you have the opportunity to connect with buyers and sellers from all parts of the world. You can therefore create a reliable trading network conveniently. The platform offers a secure setting for like-minded individuals to achieve their objectives.
Waystocap will also help you get easy access to information about trading in different countries. You will therefore can formulate your plan accordingly and take care of the documentation with ease. Since the regulations governing import export trade are always changing, we allow you to stay updated at all times. With such information at your disposal, you will always be in a position to satisfy your clients’ orders and keep your business profitable.
So if you want a foolproof means to consistently make successful deals as an exporter, Waystocap is the best platform to help you achieve this.