Archive for May, 2012

Foreign Markets May Be A Way Of Jump-Starting Small Business Sales

May 13, 2012

With domestic markets stagnating, many smaller companies are thinking there may be opportunity abroad for their products or services.

Admittedly, foreign countries, particularly inEuropeare also suffering in an economic slowdown.

But there are reasons to expand abroad if one is careful in choosing the markets and partners to seek out new markets.

Today, less than 1 percent of the nation’s 26 million small businesses are even involved in exporting – a number that’s drastically lower than in other developed nations.

However, studies show American companies are increasingly expanding across borders in search of growth and new opportunities.

The ability to go abroad can be done by small businesses if they follow and/or use smart marketing tactics.

For instance, smaller enterprises can often move their offerings abroad through resellers who are servicing a particular sector and who like to have products or services that it can provide and bill on one invoice.

“Smaller enterprises usually have niche products or services which can be in demand in other countries, used to fill a reseller’s product portfolio,” says Ross Miller, The InterGrow Group Founder and Director.

The InterGrow Group points out there are eight different options for going global. Each path has advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Sell Directly To Your Foreign Clients From Your Home Offices.
  2. Open A Local Office To Represent Your Business.
  3. Use A Contract Manufacturer.
  4. Hire A Sales Agent To Sell To Foreign Markets.
  5. Find A Foreign Distributor.
  6. Develop A Franchise Overseas.
  7. Enter Into A Joint Venture.
  8. Build AGreenfieldOperation.

The potential for growth is as vast as the world itself. If businesses pick the right partners, they can plant seeds today for a fruitful, international business tomorrow. However, with the sense of urgency for small businesses to export should be immediate.

Where to focus their overseas marketing efforts and how may seem simple, but is actually quite complex. Some key determinators are:

  1. How much productive capacity is available?
  2. What human infrastructure/experience is at the company’s disposal for foreign growth?
  3. Do the company’s products “travel” easily?
  4. Are the products already in any foreign markets, and if so in what manner?
  5. What budgetary commitment is the company willing to make in this endeavor?
  6. How competitive are the products factoring in shipping and other expenses cost wise?

Some caveats:

  1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  2. “Start simple” and try your hand with an export market.
  3. Don’t “experiment” with international markets.
  4. The way you grow internationally should be determined by your degree of experience to date, and the budgetary flexibility that you have at your disposal.

There are reasons to go abroad particularly as the domestic recession continues.  It requires thought, creativity and caution.