If you want to work in the international market, there are several things that you have to do. The steps below can be used as a guide for someone who wants to get into the international market. It is important to know that this list was created for individual people trying to export their products or services. If you are looking for information about how companies should expand internationally, please refer here.
1. Research Exports
Before getting started with exporting, it is crucial that you know what exports already exist in your industry so you know where your company should position itself and what customer needs they need to address (if it doesn’t already exist). Asking around within your industry and research online is a great place to start when looking for an export to get into. You can also research the different countries you plan on exporting to (and what they import) here.
2. Know Your Customer Needs
Once you find a market that is open for your product or service, it is critical that you know your customer’s needs and how to best meet them. Researching your customer demographics and their buying habits will help you better understand how to sell and position yourself in the international market. For more information about target markets, click here.
3. Have a Strategic Business Plan
It is always important to have a written business plan, but it is pertinent when trying to export products or services internationally because of all the factors involved such as finances, logistics, the time frame of operations, etc. Having a business plan is a must when working within the international market, and it should be adjusted often to fit your changing needs. For more information about strategic planning, click here.
4. Know How You Will Source Your Product or Service
The place where you get your product from may vary depending on what you are trying to export, but make sure that you think through this process before starting with exporting because you don’t want any delays in shipment once your order is placed with your producer. There are several methods of outsourcing such as sending representatives abroad, going through a brokerage or import-export specialist, importing bulk goods from an international trading company, etc. For more information about sourcing options, click here.
5. Identify Partnerships
This step is especially important if you are a smaller company and cannot produce enough products to meet the demand of your customer. This step should be considered a “Plan B” for exporters because it can be very hard to identify one person or business that will have what you need at all times. For more information about partnering with other companies, click here.
Now that you’ve done all this research, it’s time to go after those international dollars! Make sure to keep up-to-date records showing the country where your product went and how much money was made from each sale because these reports may be needed when applying for certain exporting certifications (such as EDGE ). For more information about exporting documentation and filing, click here.
7. Keep Up With Regulations and Taxes
When exporting out of the country, there may be different regulations and tax laws that you need to follow (depending on what products or services you are trying to export). You should always check with your local government for any updates to these rules because they can change often. For more information about how to stay up-to-date on export laws, click here.
8. Apply For an Export Certification (if necessary)
Depending on the product or service you want to export, some certification is required before getting started with exporting. Luckily, there are several certifications available such as IRTA, EDGE, UETA & NETA, etc. For more information about international trade certifications, click here.
9. Keep In Touch With Your Market
This step is important to keep up-to-date about any changes, but it is also a great opportunity to make connections and set up new trade deals for the future. You can do this easily with an online business network, such as LinkedIn, which makes keeping contact a breeze. For more information about social media and exporting, click here.
Finally, do not be afraid of exporting because it will take time to perfect your strategy until you find something that works for you. It usually takes 3 – 5 years before becoming profitable, so start this journey knowing that your hard work will eventually pay off if you put in the effort! For more information about the time frame of exporting, click here.