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Starting To Sell Overseas: Is The Time Right For Your Business?

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For businesses, the world is smaller than it has ever been before. Once, companies were largely restricted to a tiny local potential customer base, restricted by the difficulties of geography and travelling long distances. Nowadays, however, such restrictions have melted away thanks to technology, and companies are able to expand far beyond their local area in the search for customers.

The Decision to Go International

In seeking to ensure they can appeal to the widest possible customer base, most businesses will first focus on the national market. In a country the size of the USA, a national focus can work extremely well and result in a highly profitable business that is able to sustain its success for many years to come.

However, for some companies, national is just the start: they have their eyes on the borders, and are wondering if it is possible to sell their products or market their services internationally. After all, there’s no bigger potential customer base than most of the globe, and if there is an appetite for a product or service nationally, then it’s reasonable to assume that there will also be interest from other parts of the world.

Judging Whether the Time Is Right

On first thought, starting to sell overseas is hugely attractive.Β  After all, the sheer volume of potential customers becoming overwhelmingly tempting.

However, the reality is that the process of readying your company to sell to beyond your national borders is incredibly challenging, time-consuming, and requires a long process of making sure that you have absolutely everything in place to make such a venture possible. From starting new marketing campaigns to appeal to overseas customers to ensuring all important documents are translated with assistance from the likes of, there’s simply so much to think about when it comes to actually getting the ball rolling on selling overseas – so you have to time the decision to perfection.

To help you decide if the timing for selling overseas is right, here are six questions you will need to be able to answer β€œyes” to:

  • Is your existing business completely stable, with a good turnover, loyal customers, and excellent staff who are committed to the company?
  • Have you conducted market research for the country (or countries) you are hoping to sell to?
  • Are you aware of the regulations you will need to abide by in order to sell overseas?
  • If you have a patent or trademark, have you verified that this will still apply in other countries?
  • If you are selling goods, are you aware of any tariffs on your products, and how this may change in future given the, as discussed on, ongoing trade war between the US and China?
  • Have you researched the economic climate of the country (or countries) you are hoping to sell to?

In Conclusion

Selling overseas will always be attractive to business owners, but the process is long, and the risks are high – so ensuring you time such a decision correctly is vital, and ensures that you will be able to achieve the international success you hope to achieve.

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