A recent article, The Idea Of Trading Internationally Can Seem Intimidating. Only The Big Players Do It, Right?, gave me the idea for this blog post. By either offering a small niche product or wanting to expand profit, stepping into an international market can be rewarding. Each situation offers the ability to market to a larger audience and gain more exposure for your business.
How can a small to mid-sized company step into the global trading world? Well, according to this article, here are some ideas.
1. Update your Web site. Add international shipping options to your website. Accepting credit cards makes it easier for the purchaser to buy the product wtihout messing with money orders.
Also, add content in additional languages (use flag symbols to click-through to other web pages). English may be the dominant language on the Web, but offering content in your audiences' native language is a big selling point. It shows you value their business. The article suggested even buying a local domain, such as www.yourbusiness.ie, if you are stepping into the Irish market for example. Having a country code domain name makes it clear that you trade in that particular country.
2. If stepping into a new market, monitor regional and international competitors. You may have to work harder to step into that regions' market to win business. Look on competitor websites in each region to determine how it pitches its content to your new audience, and study its pricing stategy. $9.99 doesn't translate in currency conversion effectively. Another option could be to offer multipy currency conversions on your website by allowing the customer to click on the preferred currency when paying.
3. Stay up-to-date with relevant customs regulations. This is where it can be cost-effective to purchase an On-Demand product from companies who specialize in global trade management, particular thoses who offer low-cost solutions specific for the small to mid-sized markets. Management Dynamics offers an On-Demand solution to help build an Export Management System, called Export On-Demand. This solution can quickly be deployed and configured for an SME exporter. It covers all of the key export compliance capabilities including maintaining reference data, screening trade parties, producing documentation and maintains audit trails.
To read the full article on tips for entering the international market, click here.
This post was published on July 21, 2009 and updated on March 5, 2015.