International trade has fewer barriers after the globalization of the major economies. Not surprisingly, more and more business owners are keen to explore the domain, regardless of its size and scale. But the idea of foraying into exports may seem challenging to a newbie who has never stepped out of the local market. You may worry about the initial investment, regulations, taxes, local competition, and legal aspects. But you need not miss out on the opportunity just because of these challenges. Several digital tools available can resolve them and make exporting a reality, regardless of the size and financial capacity of your organization. Here are a few actionable tech tips to enhance the export potential of your business.
Manage export regulations with online resources
Export regulations regarding taxes, data privacy rules, and trade guidelines are perhaps the most daunting concerns for aspiring exporters. An insignificant error can have complex implications, such as penalties and legal hassles. Moreover, every country and the economic zone has different taxes, regulations, and data privacy rules. Rapid changes and updates make them even more complex to keep pace with, specifically if you export to multiple countries. Fortunately, American exporters can rely on online resources like the International Trade Association (ITA) website to get information regarding the local market and logistics experts. Likewise, eBay, Etsy, and PayPal provide tools to reach customers overseas.
Facilitate communication with language tools
New exporters may also struggle with communication hurdles because of language differences and cultural variations. Reaching customers overseas requires the use of a locally-accepted form of communication. Additionally, you must pay attention to the emotional nuances in communication when speaking or writing to partners or customers in another part of the world. Some cultures even read between the lines, so you must know what really works. Google Translate is a solution as it gives you a good start with straightforward language questions. It serves instant translation for over a hundred languages. You can also excel with soft communication skills by searching for business etiquette in different countries on the internet. Technology certainly emerges as a savior when it comes to export communication.
Simplify tariffs and customs with data tools
Tariffs and customs can be potential stumbling blocks for businesses venturing into the export markets. A large corporation can employ entire teams to address these areas, but you may lack the expertise and resources as a beginner. Consider collaborating with an expert who is more than a customs broker but also a technology partner. They can guide you about the nitty-gritty of tariffs and customs, help with classification codes, and get the refunds you are entitled to. Look for a provider who leverages the latest digital and automation tools to ensure a zero-error process in this context..
Ease payment collection with technology
Payment collection can make a new entrant apprehensive about sending goods to foreign markets. You cannot expect buyers to pay in full in advance because export entails extended transit times and risk of loss or damage. Measures such as letters of credit, open account terms, and consignment arrangements may help, but most newbies are hardly aware. You can address the concern by selling to another local company that exports the product as it gets you out of the transaction and prevents collection issues. However, indirect exporting may not be the right choice if you want to learn the ropes and stay in the industry for the long haul. Cross-border payment systems on sites like Amazon and PayPal can help you tie the loose ends.
Leverage product development tools
Making it big in the export market takes strategic planning and hard work. You may also have to adapt your current product or service to match customer expectations and the competitive landscape of an offshore market. The best way to do it is by viewing your offering through a foreign lens. Further, you must dig deep into details like customer pain points, demand, competitive pricing, and packing and labeling requirements for aesthetics and legal compliance. You may also have to provide technical assistance or after-the-sale service in the new market. You can leverage tools and technologies like prototyping to align it with the export market requirements with minimal effort or wastage.
Getting into the export domain may sound scary to a newbie, but you can rely on innovation for a smooth start and effortless journey. You only need to pick your technologies, tools, and partners wisely to make the best of them. Following these easy tech tips open the road to success.