As a highflying entrepreneur, resting on your business laurels simply isn’t an option – after all, you didn’t get to where you are today, my industrialist friend, with a “that’s good enough” attitude.
Once you’ve conquered the UK market, your mind begins to wander overseas as you spin your globe, stroke your white cat and throw your head back while laughing manically.
Okay, that’s a little too far.
However, in order to make it in a foreign market, there IS a raft of information you should be aware of – laws, regulations, time zones and delivery methods, among others – before pressing ahead.
While it can seem like a massive leap into the unknown, with our top tips, you’ll be trading profitably with your overseas customers for many years to come …
One of the first decisions you should make is whether you’ll take payment from your customers in another currency; if so, ensure this is agreed in writing.
Also, you should think about registering for a PayPal account to handle transactions, as well as keeping abreast of fluctuating exchange rates in the areas you’re trading in.
In business, cash is king, but when you’re trading abroad, there may be delays receiving payments from your customers, which can have an impact on your cash flow.
To avoid this, think about tightening your payment terms for overseas customers, as this can avoid your stream of cash running dangerously dry.
When shipping goods overseas, it’s important to use a reputable international courier that offers a parcel tracking service AND to ensure the product reaches the destination safely.
Also, make sure you’re aware of the local requirements, as certain destinations may have specific labelling or packaging instructions you must follow.
While this tip is true of any business, regardless of where it trades, communication is a fundamental part of satisfying your customers.
Consequently, make an effort to learn some local pleasantries and ensure you have someone on hand to translate complaints and enquiries if and when required.
The vast majority of entrepreneurs are committed individuals with a strong will to succeed – which is exactly the kind of attitude required for successful overseas trading.
Additionally, it’s important to have a clear vision of how you see your business evolving over the next few years, which will help you achieve your short term goals AND plan for the long term.