Exporting can open your business up to new opportunities in new markets. There are some obstacles that need to be overcome; not least paperwork and currency issues, as well as other financial matters including taxes and bank accounts, but careful research and effective marketing could lead to generous rewards for your efforts. You’ll also have to consider the logistics of how you will get your products to your customers, but the modern market is already a global one and courier services like TNT Direct offer international shipping as well as national.
Very few people set up their own business because of a love for meticulous record keeping and a desire to complete paperwork, but it is an important part of running any organisation. Exporting requires very good organisational skills, and as well as researching aspects of the markets you intend to get involved in, this also means that you will need to keep extensive records.
Currency will become an issue. If you mismanage currency exchanges, then you could struggle to break even on the most profitable of your products. Consider getting professional financial and currency advice, or at the very least ask your business bank account company for advice. You will also need to ensure that your account is set up for international trade, and if you aren’t experienced in dealing with export duties then use a tax advisor to make sure you meet the necessary legal criteria.
Remember that different markets not only have different requirements but different demands. Just because your product is popular in the UK, don’t assume that it will be popular elsewhere. Research the market, ensure that it isn’t flooded with the same or similar products, and determine whether there is the demand to make it financially worthwhile.
There are also cultural differences, so you may need somebody with local knowledge to assist in your efforts. The last thing you need is to inadvertently offend, or try selling products that are not appropriate to a particular market.
Always have an exit strategy prepared so that you can cut your losses and exit a particular market before you invest too heavily, or before you return a loss that you can’t meet.
Logistics is also important. Consider how long the delivery would take, whether the product would suffer damage as a result, and ensure that you use a reputable and reliable courier service. As a home-based business, you need to ensure that you will be able to secure the sales that you need in order to attract discounts and deals from your courier, or it may not be financially viable.
Exporting overseas can expand your business, increase your revenue, and improve your potential, but it is not a move that should be taken lightly because there are challenges and obstacles. Conduct all the necessary research, ensure you have professional help where needed, and have an export plan in place before you begin shipping.
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