Starting to trade internationally can be a scary leap from your home comforts, especially if you are a smaller company. As long as you have a website, you can sell your products pretty much anywhere in the world, but there are things to think about. Are you going to have an office in another country or are you just going to ship there? If you can’t afford to expand into another country, you could expand the shipping of your products into another country to start with. Do you have enough money to cover the extra work? Do you have enough staff? There are a million things to think about so we have put together a top ten tips blog to help you on your way!
- Always credit check potential international customers and suppliers and check their credit rating. As you are new to a country and culture, always check a company’s credit report before you deal with them. A credit rating is an overall score representing the company’s creditworthiness. Make sure it’s high enough to do business with.
- Understand the culture. Make sure you understand the culture and religion of the country before you start marketing your trade. They may have different guidelines or beliefs to Westernised countries and you may need to follow certain guidelines with marketing.
- Understand the currency and tax regulations. Make sure you know what the currency exchange rate is before you set your prices. Also be aware that tax is different in every country.
- Check group structure of potential traders. By checking group structure and what other companies are under the corporate umbrella you can see how big the organisation is as a whole.
- Don’t underestimate the cost of shipping. If you are planning to ship your products overseas from your home country, don’t underestimate the cost of shipping. Price how much it would cost you to ship before advertising a price for shipment to your customers.
- Form relationships. When you do start to trade overseas make sure to make solid relationships with your customers, suppliers, traders and shippers. You can never have too many good relationships.
- Check director’s information. A Creditsafe international credit report will hold information on the Directors, Shareholders and Secretaries of a company and how long they have held that position.
- Check their enquiries trend. You can see how many times a company’s credit report has been viewed over the past 12 months. This would indicate if people are interested in them or not, however it could be good and bad. Business associates of theirs could be monitoring the report as they fear they are degrading, or new potential business partners could be checking that they are OK to do business with. It’s up to you to spot why they are being looked at the amount of times they are.
- Monitor their payment behaviour. One of the most important things to take note of on a credit report is a company’s payment behaviour. If they are late payers or can’t afford to pay their bills it could affect your business if they consistently pay you late, or not at all. Monitor their payment behaviour over the previous 6 months on a credit report and check to see if they are starting to pay better or worse or are at a stable level. This should enable you to decide whether their payment habits are suitable for your company.
- Trade Payment Data. Being part of Creditsafe’s Trade Payment Data Programme you have the ability to see the real life payment behaviour of real companies, whilst also sharing your own customer’s payment data. It will highlight good and bad payers for companies to see not only the big corporate brands but also smaller companies.
To ensure you know who you’re dealing with internationally visit Creditsafe today for a free trial of international reports.