International trade is one of the most successful industries of the new millennium. But it is not new. Think of Marco Polo and the great caravans of the biblical era with their loads of silk and spices. Even if you go a little further back towards the prehistoric man and woman, you will see them selling the shells and the salt with the foreign tribes.
The trade exists because a group or a country has a supply of some product or merchandise that demands another. And as the world becomes increasingly technologically advanced and we move towards a more global world, international trade is becoming an imperative for companies to continue maintaining the same levels of profitability as in the past.
Discover, below, some suggestions to carry out a successful export
10 steps for a successful merchandise export
1.- Decide where to sell
Research is key. Identify the markets with a small search from your office. Find the consumption and import figures of products similar to yours and the economic growth rate of a possible new market. Look for demographic data, cultural and religious practices and possible competition.
2.- Elaborate an export plan
Any export plan should include the following:
Your people. The people who are going to help you export goods. Ask yourself if someone from your team can carry out this mission or you need to recruit someone.
Your ability Ask yourself the following questions: Do you have enough capacity to meet the demands of a new market? Do you need to improve?
Your packaging Will the packaging design of your product appear on the market? Is there a legal requirement to label things differently or do you need to translate the label?
Your knowledge Visit your potential market. Show your products at fairs and professional events and build new contacts.
3.- Choose a path
You can choose one of the following options:
- Sell directly
- Use a distributor
- Use a bandaging agent
- Create a joint venture
Whichever option you choose, you must ensure clarity of responsibility for things like delivery and payment, and always remember to protect intellectual property.
4.- Find opportunities
Fairs and professional events are one of the best ways to find opportunities abroad. Find buyers and generate a new business. Consult about the subsidies available to subsidize the cost to expose or share the cost of a stand with another business.
5.- Do marketing
Ads can help you publicize your products in a foreign country, but they can be expensive. Keep in mind the target audience and the spending versus the return on investment. Another option is to create a website with translated content according to the target market. Social networks such as Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter can also help you promote your message quickly and free of charge. Although it does not cost anything to configure the profiles in these networks, you have to invest time to keep them updated. Whatever you use, make sure all marketing materials have up-to-date contact information along with those of the person responsible for export sales.
6.- Know the legal conditions of each country
Understanding the legal and regulatory environment of all countries that you would like to export is key. You can advise on professional associations in your company’s sector. They will help you obtain the necessary documentation to export and they will put you in touch with international lawyers if necessary.
Ask yourself if the product compliance certificates and liability coverage that you have are valid abroad and verify your intellectual property rights and trademarks.