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In today’s business environment, keeping the business thriving and competing in the global arena are not easy tasks. The world is your market, and international business and trade is an exciting opportunity that makes it easier to enter this market.
Whether you are a small enterprise or million dollars manufacturing company, international business and trade is a great way to find new customers and make a huge profit, but the pace of competition is dramatically increasing. The enterprises interested in international trade should be at least as good as – or preferably, better than – their competitors.
Although there are many factors that affect the efficiency and effectiveness of your trade performance, some of them have vital impacts. Let’s analyze these factors one by one.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat,” – Sun Tzu.
As you can see from this old saying, without both strategy and tactics it is impossible to be successful. International trade is a simple system when strategies and tactics are practiced effectively together. While this may be hard for many small businesses, combining these two elements is the most important component in the international trade success. If you manage to integrate your strategies into your tactics, it is inevitable for you (or for any business) to obtain sustainable success.
There are two crucial strategies for getting an international business and international trade success:
At the same time, tactics should be identified carefully in order to achieve your strategies. For instance, some of the tactics that can be integrated into your strategy would be:
In your international trade journey, everything must be perfect; especially the order. After all, the customers expect perfect orders. In other words, the importer has the right to demand the right product in the right quantity from the right source to the right destination in the right condition at the right time with the right documentation for the right cost.
Companies always prefer to do business with the organizations that make transactions perfect every time. For that reason, you should be able to deliver orders and make shipments perfect every single time and pay special attention to the requests. Otherwise, you may lose your customers.
There is a sensitive balance between selling profitably and being competitive, but losing money in order to be competitive is not a good tactic.
In today’s business environment competition is fierce, and you have to be firm in the price negotiation wars. You cannot rely on chance. Success doesn’t just come and find you: you have to go out and get it.
As a strategy, enterprises should have medium or long-term objectives and goals that sustain their market entrance. Based on the competition level in the target markets, exporter or importer has to choose a specific strategy for each target market.
No matter what product or service you are marketing or selling, your online presence is the key to success in finding international customers.
Every business must view their online brand image as a continuous work in progress. There are many resources and tools that are effective in building your online presence. Although building a website is the first step of a good online presence and brand image, other subsidiary tools can also be very useful. Tools such as social networks, blogging and email marketing, B2B, B2C and online directories, to name a few, can help you actively monitor what is being said about your company, market, competitor and your customers.
If your organization has a web presence, then you are most likely getting many requests to send out quotes. Personally, I do not think that you have enough time to assess all the requests you receive one by one; not to mention that many times the requests you are getting are not as good and clear as you would want them to be, and they could be a waste of time if you are trying to find customers in the international arena.
Creating a killer company profile is the best and the easiest way of attracting potential customers in foreign markets.
By creating a good company profile, you can help your potential customers better understand your goals, as well as have a clear idea of the products or services that you are trying to promote. This is a great opportunity to outline where your competitive advantages lie without wasting your time.
In conclusion, I always say that international business and trade are simple, but simple does not mean easy. It requires skill and hard work to be successful. If you focus a 100% of your efforts on creating a very clear picture of what your goals are, it is inevitable that your business will be successful in the global arena.
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.