Bartercard CEO for Australia and New Zealand
It’s become commonplace that a large proportion of business will be transacted overseas. The World Wide Web has opened up opportunities we couldn’t have dreamt about years ago.
Online retail stores are replacing the high streets. With so many opportunities presented to us, where do you start to market your business overseas?
Firstly, you need to identify your market and decide who your target audience is. It’s best not to assume that just because your product is popular in your home country, it’ll have the same impact elsewhere.
Start small and then grow big. Consider piloting it in one country first and see what the response is like. It’s better to learn from any mistakes and adapt your approach before going global.
Do your research. You’ll need to understand the cultural differences of those countries you’re targeting.
Each market may need a different approach and so your sales and marketing efforts will need to reflect this — there’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to marketing your business overseas.
You’ll need to consider pricing and any currency variations, shipping, payment terms and packaging.
While considering the above points, what’s the infrastructure like in the countries you are targeting? Are supplies guaranteed and are there additional custom duty tariffs for importing the goods? Will the recipient get an unexpected bill at the port of entry?
Make sure you fully research the countries you’ll be exporting to – each country will be different, and the last thing you want is an unhappy customer who is suddenly is faced with an unexpected bill just to have their parcel accepted into the country. And negative feedback won’t help your cause either.
While English is a universal language, consider translating your marketing approach into different languages. Ignorance is not bliss. If you want to be noticed and for your products to sell, don’t expect people to buy from you in your own language.
When looking at expansion, ensure your own infrastructure is set up to cope with the demand – both from a resource perspective and a systems and processes point of view. Ensure those involved in the process are fully informed of expectations, and the timescales by which orders should be turned around.
Entering the international arena needs careful consideration. A great deal of planning and strategising must take place before you embark on your global journey, however the flip side is there are a great number of benefits.
World domination may be possible, just make sure you do your homework!