Britain’s SMEs expect international trade to provide a 25 per cent boost to their growth according to new research. Latest figures from the EE SME International Ambitions survey also found that 40 per cent of small businesses are currently trading internationally while an additional 6 per cent plan to do so by 2021.
So, if you’re planning to take the leap into international trading here are our top 5 tips…
Ask the right questions
Do your research and know what you’re signing up for before you commit. When making a deal to import your products don’t be dazzled by flattery. When all is said and done it’s about making a profit and the figures need to add up. Make sure you ask the right questions such as who is paying for shipping?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Talk to businesses that are already exporting and learn from their experiences. This can provide an invaluable insight into different testing and packaging procedures as well as useful guidance on different product specifications.
Get a feel for the market
Hop on a plane and go and network! The impact of meeting face to face can be far more valuable than communicating remotely. The personal connection will prove invaluable as you navigate the bumps along the way and can help you avoid disputes and build positive relationships with your producers.
Make use of local networks
Research business and trade groups within the country you’re planning to trade in. These can be useful for accessing advice and gaining customer feedback.
Stay true to your brand. Yes, you may have to make small changes to how you communicate and consider different testing and packaging procedures, but the essence of your brand has what got you this far and is what will make you unique when entering new international markets.