Maybe you’re looking to expand your market, or you think your product or service might do better with customers based elsewhere. While the American market is significant, there are huge numbers of overseas buyers that you could be reaching.
Start by identifying your goals. What do you hope to achieve by selling overseas? What are you willing to take on to make it a success? Under what circumstances could it be profitable for you?
Selling your business internationally takes additional funds, effort and skills. While there are many online platforms that you can use to facilitate the process, it’s usually not enough to simply take current copywriting, graphics, and other resources and expect them to connect with audiences in other parts of the world the way they do with homegrown audiences.
Even in major English-speaking markets such as Canada and the UK, customers have a different perspective and may respond to different styles, approaches, pricing strategies and product positioning. You’ll want to take styles of communication, cultural expectations and language into account. It’s better to hire translators with some expertise in copywriting or bilingual marketers, if you can. This lets you localize content for your overseas customers more effectively, rather than using automatic translation software, since even a perfect direct translation won’t necessarily connect once translated.
Much like you would for the American market, it’s important to split test and trial run different approaches to copywriting, graphics and any other content you send out. Customize emails for each different significant market. Try to find a group of supportive customers, other business owners, or collaboration partners in the international markets that you want to sell to who can help you better understand their home culture and style of communications.
Partnerships could be a great opportunity, especially if you sell a product that isn’t handmade. You could own the brand and have a different manufacturer who is stationed closer or in your international market to reduce shipping costs, or produce in bulk, ship to a partner, and have them be a regional distributor.
For all international transactions, but especially for larger ones such as making bulk payments to a manufacturer or distributors, you’ll need to know how to get the best price on currency transfer fees. If you have a distribution partner in London helping you send goods across Europe for less, you should look up UK to USA funds transfer options to find the best rates, otherwise you could end up paying too much and lose money or have your margins too tight to really profit off of them.
Platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon can help you gain visibility, or else you need to come up with a strategy to connect with shoppers online and draw them back to your own website, or have a local partner to connect with them in person.
Selling your business internationally opens up a whole world of opportunity, literally. Make the most of it by taking the time to understand your target markets, building beneficial relationships and partnerships, doing careful research on fees and cost-cutting measures, and localizing your content to appeal to your international customers.
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