Writing a clear plan of action – from determining time scales to identifying the resources that can be dedicated to overseas trading. It’s also a chance to gain agreement from members of your team, if you have one. Success is far more likely with everyone working towards a common goal.
Going global will have an impact on how you structure most of the processes in your business so, if you have staff, make sure they are aware of what’s happening and are on board and prepared for change. You may need to consider an export training programme to ensure that your company is in good shape when orders start to come in. The Institute of Export, British Chambers of Commerce and UK Trade and Investment will be able to give you advice about suitable training programmes.
Our top tips for successful international trade:
Make sure that there’s a demand for your goods in your chosen market and that you can sell at a price that will produce a reasonable profit margin. Check out the competition and ensure that there is sufficient space for you to successfully operate.
Establish exactly how you are going to enter the market. Make sure your company is geared up for international trade and allocate budget to cover any start-up costs.
Take time to understand your target market, including language and cultural differences. Being sensitive to such differences will pave the way for good business relationships.
View international trade as a long-term process rather than a quick win. Don’t forget that other countries conduct business differently to the UK, and it often takes longer to agree a deal.
From exchange rates to the cost of shipping, it all has an impact on your profit margins.
Familiarise yourself with all the documentation you will need to produce so that you comply with customs regulations.
Agree methods of payment that don’t expose you to unnecessary risk. Take out insurance cover if necessary.
A poor delivery service will not reflect well on your company. Choose a fast, efficient and reputable international carrier and make sure your goods are insured.
There is plenty of expert advice available. This will be invaluable at every stage of the export process – so make use of it! You can follow us on Twitter for the latest international trade news @DHLExpressuk, sign up to our weekly newsletter, or download our practical guide.