Once you’re successfully up and running on a national scale, you might want to think about where you can go next to turn your small business into something bigger and better. A great way to do this is to move onto the international scene and get your goods and services sold overseas.
There isn’t a magic wand you can wave though that makes this possible, there are certain things you need to have ready and in place beforehand. Here’s what to think about:
Much like any business venture, you need to carry out market research first to fully understand the situation. With this, you need to look to the international scene to get a clear idea of where there is demand for your goods/services around the world.
The Right Contacts
Once you’ve done the research, you also need to network and make connections with other businesses and investors in these countries to firstly to make your presence known, but secondly to help you set up your trade operations.
Their insight can be valuable, as can their potential financial support. So if you can, head over to international trade fairs or look on networking platforms like LinkedIn and make enquiries with any relevant individuals or companies.
As an SME, it’s likely that your operations are relatively modest at this time, but the truth is that to head abroad you need managerial experience to deal with the move.
You can seek external support with this, but there’s nothing to stop you handling this either. A quick look online can find lots of useful resources, like this international business guide from TNT for example. These can help you with everything from day-to-day management to ways to target foreign clients for trade.
Look at your Logistics
Building on that last point, once you’re ready to start shipping abroad, you then need to think about the logistics of this. Ask yourself questions like:
- How will I get my goods abroad?
- How will I handle any returns?
- What are the rules and procedures in the different nations?
Again, this is where it makes sense to seek external advice, as the last thing you want is for your items to be held or seized before they reach their destinations—as this certainly won’t be good for business!
With all the above ready and in place, you should be putting your SME into a prominent position to get trading around the world. So, if you’ve yet to get started, act now and good luck!