You’ve got your product, you’ve done the research and you think your business is ready to enter an international market. Even if you’re confident about the strength of your business and product, it may be unable to thrive without the right tools in place to support it.
Take a look at our three essential tools to take your business global.
- Your Online Shop
Trading online is vital for smaller businesses who want to enter international markets. There are various online portals where you can set up a shop that are already geared towards doing business globally, such as eBay.
If you plan to use your website to sell your products, you should ensure that you make it as easy as possible for a customer to do business with you. Think about adding the following features to your website:
- Choose a platform carefully one that will be able to help as your business expands internationally one that supports language pages, different currencies, multiple payment systems, delivery options and tax rates.
- Have your website translated into the language of the country you plan to expand into. Being unable to read your website will be a barrier that could affect your sales overseas.
- Use an online payment tool for your target audience – people will be more likely to do business with you if you’re using a payment system that they’re familiar with.
Allow buyers to calculate buyer’s costs and estimate shipping this means allowing customers to view the products in different currencies or be able to work out an accurate exchange rate of the product in their own currency. Additionally, VAT, taxes etc. of the country being shipped to will differ and will need to be included into the overall buying and shipping cost.
- Increase international search visibility Google tries to help users find stuff that is most relevant to them in terms of location proximity. Using geo targeted landing pages will help your page rank better in international searches and therefore stand a higher change of your page appearing in organic search, and clicked on by an international user
- International Shipping
Offer attractive international shipping options for your overseas customers. They will be unlikely to buy your products over ones they can find locally if they think your delivery prices are too high, or if their product will take too long to arrive.
Use an international courier service, such as Whistl, to ensure that you have a cost-effective and efficient carrier for your international packets and parcels. By using a service with worldwide coverage, flexibility and a variety of tracking options, you’re giving your international customers a reason to do business with you.
- Global Communication Apps
Adopt some of the online tools that make it easier for your business to communicate with clients and customers in other countries. Video calling and web conferences are an easy alternative to travelling abroad for business and can save you a lot of time and money. Tools like Skype are used globally and allow for better business communications around the world.
When emailing customers or clients abroad, be aware of the different time zones. Use Outlook to delay or schedule outgoing emails so that your emails are sent during their working hours – it will look more professional and you can avoid waking people up with a late-night email. Scheduling apps like Boomerang, World meeting time and Schedule once are some useful scheduling apps and services that can help with the timing of your meetings, webinars, conference calls etc. so that your business can stay in touch and work with everyone no matter where they’re located.
Follow our three tips for tools that can help you take your business global. Your products may be perfect for an international market, so make sure you have everything in place to let it thrive and you can enjoy watching your sales soar.