If you take time setting up your export operations, and think about every part of the sales process, it will improve your chances of success.
Export can completely change the way that you do business, broadening your customer base and improving profitability.
To make the most of exporting your products or services, it’s important to consider every part of the sales channel, from attracting customers to dealing with after-sales issues. If you make it easy for customers, you will improve your chances of success.
In setting up the sales channel, you need to think about:
• Promoting and marketing your business abroad. You can use a direct selling approach, enlist the help of marketing agents and use trade fairs to promote your business abroad. Look at what other businesses do, and try to do it better.
• Taking payments. An important consideration for any business choosing to export is how they will take payment. It is also crucial to protect yourself from the financial risks that international trading gives rise to.
• Arranging fulfilment. If you sell physical goods, you’ll need to organise delivery packaging and transport. It’s possible to do this yourself if you are a small business, but you may find it simpler to use a specialist provider who can also handle warehousing and storage. If you sell downloadable products such as music, e-books or software, you will need special secure software. You may also need to consider password protection to prevent your product being copied or pirated.
• Inventory management. You will need to ensure you don’t overstock, or worse, run out of a product you are offering for export, making it impossible to fulfil the order. Special inventory software can help you track this.
• Providing after-sales support. Give international customers an easy way to ask questions, get product support, give feedback or make complaints, including returning defective products. This will enhance your reputation and encourage returning buyers.