Global Shipping Software: 7 Steps to Get Started in the Global Economy
In Part 1 of this blog series, we covered 4 steps to help your U.S. business expand your product sales in the global market. We hope this helps you tap into the vast world of business outside of the United States. All too often, we find that the main thing keeping most businesses from participating in global ecommerce markets is the concern over the difficulties and complexities of selling to customers in other countries, with different laws, rules and regulations.
Do you already ship to Brazil and/or Mexico?
We are looking for a few StarShip customers who ship to Brazil and/or Mexico. If you already ship internationally and are interested in signing up for our controlled release of StarShip 16.0 to take advantage of extra savings and simplification starting with your shipments click here:
7 Steps to Expand into the Global eCommerce Market: Steps 5 - 7
1-4. See previous blog...Global Shipping Software: 7 Steps to Expand into the Global Market - Part I
5. Attend international trade shows.
Trade shows are not only a great way to evaluate the competition, but also to locate new partners, suppliers and agents as well as strengthen the relationship with existing ones. These shows are very important to businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion Program provides grants to states in order to enable more small businesses to travel overseas. It can fund some of your expenses related to exhibiting at international trade shows or going on foreign trade missions.
6. Travel to your prospective destination.
Traveling to visit potential (and established) partners is an essential part of any internal business strategy. Meeting face to face is an essential part of building a relationship with an overseas partner. People do business with people they know, like and trust. The State Department has an excellent guide on travel advisories and advice for preparing for overseas trips.
Before you go, one essential part of meeting with overseas prospects is to research each culture's business etiquette and customs. This knowledge will go a long way in building rapport and trust with your future business partners. Even though your research won’t prepare you for every scenario, people tend to appreciate visitors making a gesture to understand their customs - don’t overlook this step!
7. Understand international methods of payment.
According to the SBA, there are four methods of international payments: cash in advance (or credit cards), documentary letters of credit, documentary collections (either payable at sight or on acceptance) and an open account. The payment method will depend on the buyer-seller relationship and what is normal in the market and competition. Credit card payments seem to be the easiest, despite the fees associated with the familiar service. To learn more about each of these methods, and their pros and cons, read more about methods of payment on this excellent blog from the SBA.
We hope this blog series is good start to help get your business ready to expand into new global markets. Fear of the unknown is easily remedied with some additional education. We look forward from hearing from you with your questions and comments.
V-Technologies, LLC. StarShip and ShipGear integrates with Endicia for US.Postal shipping. Endicia Global Services for Mexico and Brazil integrates with StarShip 16.0. If you are interested in learning more about this service, please contact us at 800-462-4016.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by jannoon028
Another version of this blog was previously posted on Endicia's blog 7 THINGS I'M GOING TO DO TO TAKE MY BUSINESS OVERSEAS THIS YEAR