It might be surprising to learn that the majority of companies that export have less than 100 employees, and even more have less than 5! There seems to be a misconception going around that a company needs lots of employees and lots of capital in order to engage in international trade. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With the following helpful advice, you could be expanding your business globally and possibly enhancing it.
First of all, you should respond promptly and thoughtfully to inquiries you receive from non-U.S. buyers. Foreign buyers often complain that their emails seeking overseas buyers/sellers often aren’t responded to. So read them! Just because an email comes from overseas doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a scam. In fact, it could potentially be the start to a fruitful partnership.
Second, invite the kind of aforementioned emails by making your business internationally-friendly. Text such as: “We ship international” or “We gladly accept international orders and will quote you shipping rates” can go a long way. When shipping, make sure the buyer/seller is well-informed of possible duties and taxes which may be present on their item. The Harmonized Tariff Code contains such information for a wide variety of products and countries. To learn how it, as well as a wide variety of other aspects of exporting, check out the U.S. Commercial Service's Export Training Videos.
After making a few international transactions, gather happy testimonials and feature them on your site. This will draw in more international prospects, which might lead to a pattern to be recognized about where sales are coming from. The next step is to find a foreign distributor in that area which can purchase sizable volumes of product from you. How is this done? The U.S. Commerce Department is quite helpful in finding buyers for many U.S. companies via its many Export Assistance Centers. This video can help get you started:
Also, don’t forget to check out globalEDGE’s Online Course Modules on exporting and taking your business global!