Global interconnectivity, new supply chains and technology have transformed today’s entrepreneurial landscape. Despite global economic uncertainty, the spirit of creativity and innovation are still driving the growth of companies in the APAC region – exports accounted for 68% of Asia Pacific SMEs’ total annual revenue of US$1.43 million. Small businesses should take advantage of technological innovations to connect with new customers and look to grow on a global scale. There are many opportunities out there, waiting to be seized.
The exporting journey may seem daunting at first, so to help, we’ve compiled a list of eight tips for successful international expansion.
- Pick your markets
Different markets and consumers have different needs and preferences, online and off. Research the markets you’re considering, and develop a localised strategy to suit.
Check the commodity code for your goods to see what documents you will need to meet local requirements, and consider customs duties in certain countries. Do your research ahead of branching out into new markets – it will pay dividends in the long run.
- Choose the right service for your business
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to your shipping strategy, but you can cater to all demands, implementing options such as next day or 3-day shipping times to match pricing or timing concerns.
- Prepare your international orders with care
Ensure you have all the relevant documents you need before shipping your international orders. For example, commercial invoices, packing lists, shipping notes, a Certificate of Shipment, any certificates of origin or commercial licenses all need to be current and present. Consider services that can help process all documents electronically, saving you both time and money.
- Weigh your shipping correctly
Whether you’re using domestic or international services, it’s important to calculate the correct billable weight to ensure accurate shipping fees. If you’re having difficultly working out the dimensional or actual weight of your package, use guides that provide a step-by-step run through.
- Pack your shipments correctly
Your transportation provider may be able to advise you how to package your goods correctly, or even provide you with their own range of ready-to-use, self-sealing packaging in a choice of shapes and sizes.
- Enable tracking
Now that your shipment is on its way, it’s only natural to want to know where it is at all times. Keep tabs on it during every step of the journey. Tracking tools can enable you to nickname your package, create a personal watch list or filter your shipments to see the details you want on your desktop and mobile.
- Ask questions
Knowing where to get quick answers can save time and ensure peace of mind. Use free online resources to learn more and ask your transportation provider any questions you may have. A reputable provider will have dedicated staff providing guidance and insight every step of the way.
- Go above and beyond
In some circumstances, your customer’s shipment may require extraordinary care, for example additional security, temperature control or compliance documentation. Consider industry-specific solutions to ensure shipments arrive in the best possible condition.
Shipping to countries even further afield could be the next big step in growing your business, so make sure you’re fully prepared to go global by taking advantage of free online resources and in-depth information available online. In today’s connected world, achieving success may be much easier than you think!
This is the average annual revenue per respondents as per “Global Trade in the Digital Economy: Opportunities for Small Businesses”, a commissioned research study conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of FedEx, November 2016
Kim Garner, Managing Director, FedEx Express Australia and New Zealand.