Tapping the Global Marketplace (continued)
1. Think globally. Exporting is an excellent strategy for growing your business. Think about what overseas markets would be interested in your product or service. Then, do some research into that market to see what customers are buying and what’s trending? What is the level of discretionary spending in the desired country, what is being spent on your particular category or product line, and is spending increasing or decreasing?
2. Review your product or service line. Does your product or service lend itself to being sold in a foreign market? What changes would need to be made to make it possible to do so? Do you have additional production capacity? What about fulfillment? Can your shipping department handle the processing of international orders, and if not, what would you need to change to make it possible?
3. Perform an audit on your website. Is your website available in other languages, if not natively, then through a translation plugin? Can your e-commerce module handle orders from overseas customers, do the necessary fund conversions into U.S. dollars, and process the payments? Can it calculate international shipping into the order?
4. Create an export plan. Start an export plan framework. Focus on opportunities, challenges, potential and risks at this point. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown plan at this stage. Simply pencil out your thoughts so that you can share these with your team. This can serve as the basis for a more detailed work plan to identify the next steps and additional resources/knowledge you may need to move forward towards a decision.