Tips for Growing Your Business with International Sales

When considering new markets, small businesses hardly think about international opportunities. While such businesses assess the next local customer segments to include in their sales strategy and consumers from neighboring states, the state and federal organizations wish small businesses would seize the many opportunities overseas.

When considering new markets, small businesses hardly think about international opportunities. While such businesses assess the next local customer segments to include in their sales strategy and consumers from neighboring states, the state and federal organizations wish small businesses would seize the many opportunities overseas.

Besides, two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is outside the US. Sadly, according to the International Trade Administration factsheet, out of America’s 30 million businesses, only less than 1% sell abroad. This presents a good opportunity for small business to tap into the potential in overseas markets.

Other reasons for going global include:

  • Boost the sales life of your products by discovering new markets for them
  • Decrease dependency on familiar markets. This ensures profitability during low seasons or unstable demand cycles in your local markets
  • There is easy access to worldwide markets thanks to technology growth (e.g the internet), improved trade finance and trade agreements.
  • Learn new markets and compete in foreign markets thus boosting growth and profitability of your business.

Tips for Going Global With Your Sales

1. Plan

It’s always important to begin by examining your needs, readiness, and commitment to expanding your business to international markets. Then, set your goals and create an international business plan that can help you achieve your targets.

2. Do a foreign market research

You cannot go into just any country especially if you don’t know enough about the market. Use existing resources such as the information provided by the Department of Commerce to identify relevant markets for your product.

3. Examine existing offerings and add new product lines to match customer needs

An offering that did well in your local area might not suit the international consumer. This makes it necessary to study the needs of consumers abroad and package your product accordingly. In some cases, small changes like the packaging, product names and business branding are what you need to connect to your target market and draw them to your products.

4. Assess and choose distribution channels for your product

There could be different ways of distributing your products. These may include using agents, opening foreign subsidiaries, working with representatives and so forth. The most important thing is to guarantee a consistent flow of your goods in the new markets.

Helpful Resources for Businesses Venturing in International Sales

It is possible that small businesses don’t explore international markets due to lack of knowledge about the available programs and resources that can help them get started. Yet, there are many free opportunities small businesses can use to find help and advice on venturing into international sales. Here is a sample of a few such resources:

Overseas Private Investment Corp.: It is a U.S government agency that assists American enterprises in investing in upcoming markets. They provide businesses with the necessary tools to mitigate the risks associated with direct investment in international markets.

U.S Export Assistance Center: A center can be found in each major metropolitan area in the U.S. They assist small and medium-sized enterprises venturing into export with the advice they need to compete equally in today’s competitive global marketplace. In this center, you will find representatives from the Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration and others. These professionals will offer advice and information about tariffs and banking, international trade laws, among others.

Export.Gov: Managed by the International Trade Administration, Export.gov helps U.S companies in designing their overseas sales strategies. The website puts together all the tools businesses require to venture into foreign markets.