In the twenty-first century, businesses have a lot of potential for growth and expansion. But are we properly utilizing all that potential?
Imagine having a business in your local market and only selling to your local customers in your hometown, or having an online site and only selling to customers in your home country. Of course, we should respect when business owners choose to stick to their local market. At the same time, we should understand that a business is much more profitable and influential when it goes global.
Although international trade can be intimidating for many small and medium businesses, going global is essential for survival and thriving of each enterprise. We should see more businesses investing in themselves and utilizing the abundance of resources available for them to flourish.
International trade is no longer exclusive to big, multi-billion-dollar manufacturing companies. Whether you are a small business owner or a family business, you need to look into international trade to survive in today’s competitive business environment.
Simply expanding and making your business available to the global arena is not enough. If you want to be successful and competitive in introducing your business to international audiences, you should first and foremost be innovative. If you don’t know where to start, read the tips below!
3 Key Tips to Help You Establish Sales Abroad
1. Serve Your Ideal Customer
Your ultimate goal in a global market is to be a company that everyone is looking for, and this can only be achieved if you focus on your ideal customers and value propositions. When you narrow down your market segment and differentiate your value proposition based on your customers’ needs, you will be able to better help and serve them. As the customers see the uniqueness of your goods and services, they will eventually become loyal to your brand.
You should always focus on offering high-value services that are tailored to your customers’ needs in order to leave a lasting positive impression. This is the key to ensuring your customers accept your prices and think that the value they get for the price is fair.
Before you start your international trade journey, you need to know your ideal customers and their buying behaviour. Here are some tactics to help you with that:
- Define your value propositions from the customer’s point of view;
- Define ideal customers based on products or services you offer;
- Identify specific benefits and opportunities your customers are seeking when buying your products or using your services;
- Identify when your ideal customers buy your products or use your services.
2. Define Your Niche Market
In international business, your ability to define a niche market will determine your success.
If you do not start profiting within your first year in an international arena, you will quickly start stressing out and will run into troubles. This is why selecting the right niche market with a short sales cycle is the best strategy for those companies that want to succeed in international trade. Unfortunately, most organizations are not clear on what their target markets are, and as a result, they waste their time and money in the areas that do not lead to business growth.
Remember this: some products are easily sold to wide audiences, while others may only be appealing to some individuals in that international arena. You should thoroughly research each foreign market you choose to conduct business in. Focus on assessing your options and reducing risks. After you do this, focus on identifying your unique selling proposition and communicating it to the customers.
3. Establish a Marketing Strategy
If you really want to differentiate your business from your competitors in your target market (or in your home country), you need to think outside the box to maximize the effort of your marketing. Simply following basic marketing rules doesn’t work in international trade. You need to use customized marketing strategies when it comes to niche products or services.
A word of advice: utilize differentiation focus strategy, even if you are a small or medium business owner. In today’s business environment, most small and medium enterprises concentrate on cost focus strategy for their international operations. However, cost focus strategy might be difficult to maintain in an international arena without a large volume of production.
Differentiation focus strategy mainly concentrates on the market and consumers in that market. For example:
- You may develop a niche strategy based on your customer needs, wants and demands. This tactic works well when mass-market organizations do not produce the item required.
- You may develop a niche strategy if there are social and cultural differences within a single community that may require changes to individual products or services.
- You may also develop a niche strategy through exclusive rights, such as patents. For example, under your main brand, you may create a niche brand to serve special customer needs.
Let me finish today’s feature with a famous quote:
“If you don’t sell, it is not the product that is wrong, it’s you” – Estee Lauder.
Written by Kemal Sucu
A pragmatic, smart, and strategic International business strategist and new market researcher, Kemal has good insights into international trade and is full of great marketing ideas. Kemal possesses the real-life experience, academic capability and the necessary personal skills to help SMEs build up import-export strategies, enter new markets and expand their business activities in more foreign markets.