Selling your products internationally can be both an exciting and daunting, not to mention providing an opportunity to boost your sales revenue significantly.
By following the golden five rules of international trade below anyone can be an international success. My overarching rule when it comes to selling overseas however, is to only embark on this adventure if it makes complete commercial sense to do so. Do not be afraid to say no or to negotiate terms that will make it worthwhile for you to be selling off-shore. Overcoming some of the typical challenges to being a success internationally can make it fun and fulfilling. My five golden rules of being an international success are below:
Know your products: Understanding your products is the key to your success in any market but more so when it comes to selling abroad. Truly understanding the cost of producing and shipping your products will enable you to competitively price them such that both your buyers and you are able to make it a worthwhile exercises to distribute. It is surprising to find that many people do not really know the exact price of selling their product. I have fallen into the trap of negotiating a wonderful margin on my range but then finding that the cost of shipping my products made it unviable! If you have an exact cost of production and can accurately assess shipping costs then you can determine what margin will make sense for you to operate overseas. Initially, it is not safe to rely on a large volume of international orders because the reality is that most international buyers take bite sizes to experiment with sales of your product before taking a large bite.
Know your competitors: Understanding your market overseas means knowing your key competitors, their market share, and their pricing. Whilst I never focus too much on my actual competitors’ products, it is a good idea to be aware of who they are and whether you can compete at some level with their price. Never feel intimidated by your competitors! I am firm believer that there is a person for every product.
Know your market: Cultural nuances can be critical when it comes to selling your products overseas. There are simple things like words and numbers that are faux pas in specific cultures. You may need to translate your brand to make it sellable. It is also a wonderful idea to assess the marketing landscape of your international markets. Will you require a PR agency to make a dent in the market? Are there key bloggers and influencers you will need to get onside? Can you rely on your reseller to make any marketing efforts for you or will you be the only one responsible for this?
Understand the rules. International rules and regulation, such as certifications and even taxes or tariffs can create an additional hurdle for you to sell your products overseas. It is advisable to always seek regulatory or legal advice before you send a shipment off shore. Austrade can often help or direct you to the right area with this.
Physical limitations. This is a challenge I have had to overcome in shipping my products off shore. Any product that is fragile or temperature controlled will need some extra care and consideration when shipping. This will not only increase the price of the product but will also leave you more susceptible to breakages and faulty product when they are received. Some of the ways to overcome this are die cut boxes, refrigeration, bio-film, sea freight or even finding an innovative package that isn’t as fragile.
Guest Blogger Bio; Anna is a naturopath and the founder of Edible Beauty Australia, a luxury botanical skincare and tea range available in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Anna’s love of herbal and natural ingredients provided her with a vision to create a luxurious botanical product range including herbal teas and skin care, to promote beauty both inside and out. Anna is a strong believer in the incredible power of herbs and natural foods to transform, nourish and revitalise our lives.
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