Last month, we offered some tips on how to approach overseas shipping and international couriers. But how do you know when your small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) is ready to enter the global market?
Several business owners discussed the issue with the Guardian, highlighting important factors that identify the moments that organisations should begin thinking about international appeal.
Managing director of Harvey Water Softeners Casey Bowden said a good indicator is when businesses are providing products that offer a number of advantages over the available alternatives overseas. He added that SMEs need high-quality goods and partners abroad who know the local market.
Jorrit Jorritsma, co-founder of bag manufacturer Millican, said any company that sells online must be prepared for international buyers, as they are eventually going to receive overseas orders.
“The big question for us was whether we’d developed our brand to a point where it would be understood abroad and whether there would be big enough demand abroad to warrant moving into export fully,” said Mr Jorritsma.
Payment technology firm Semafone believes thorough research is necessary before expanding to other countries. CEO Tim Critchley said the company had suspected its products would be successful in the US due to the regulatory environment, but it was crucial to back this up with hard facts and figures.
Despite this, Semafone still tried to garner as much business as possible the in the country before committing to setting up offices in Boston and San Francisco.
The experts’ comments comes as the UK government last month launched the ‘Exporting is GREAT’ initiative, which is designed to get 100,000 more businesses in the country shipping goods and services overseas by 2020.