Small businesses are the backbone of their local communities, but they should never consider their one location to be the be-all-and-end-all of opportunity. You can expand globally even without franchising, and as a result, see greater profits and reputation from around the world. This can then bring people in droves to your physical store, or it could give you the influence and brand power needed to start franchising your brand.
There are so many possibilities to expand internationally, but before you do you will need to follow these steps:
Commit to Market Research
When you expand internationally you need to be careful. Though at their core people around the world are exactly the same as each other, cultures do vary. It is these cultures and attitudes that make it impossible to simply copy-paste your business model and marketing strategy into new areas. Doing this won’t even work if you are on the east coast trying to market to those on the west. You must treat every community with the respect that they deserve – in this case, it is to be treated as a unique entity that requires its own market and product research. Only then can you succeed in this new market.
Ways to Sell Products Internationally
Once you have settled on where you want to sell internationally you will need to work out how you plan on selling internationally. Two of the most popular options (especially for small and medium businesses) is to:
1. Sell Products from Other Companies
Selling your product through other companies can help you put your brand out there and build up a reputation without a huge financial commitment. Then, if your brand becomes a success, you can look at opening your own store there with your full product range. For now, try to stick to your best sellers and get them into boutiques and even department stores. If you are a niche company, the same principle applies, only the stores you sell your products in might operate entirely online, rather than in a physical retail space.
2. Partner with International Businesses and Ship in Bulk
Another way you can sell your products and grow your business internationally is to simply ship your products to a designated space internationally. If you partner with a shipping company, for example, and store your product range in a storage unit, you can then sell your products and control the distribution without having a physical office.
As soon as you start to sell internationally, you need to look at ways to increase the production and trade of your products. You cannot usually do this without the right financing. Trade finance helps reduce risk of non payment by end customers or suppliers, which enables businesses to focus on growing the business, increase your revenue potential, and even make your supply chain more efficient.
There are so many ways that you can grow your business internationally, but unless you put the right effort into market research, you could end up wasting your money and failing in your endeavor. By following this guide, small, local businesses can start to expand their brand and reach overseas.