How does international trade affect small businesses

When your small business has finally made it to go beyond the local boundaries, you will soon realize that it’s a whole different ball game out there. There are great markets to tap, meaning there are more golden opportunities available for you. Indeed, International trade is lucrative, but if you are not careful, you will get burnt out trying to putting off fire here and there.

International business
Image by bpsusf / Flickr

To help you do your due diligence, there are some issues you should address when trading Internationally – either exporting or importing:

1. Foreign exchange rate issues in making and taking payments

The fluctuative nature of foreign exchange rates can pose a threat to your small business in the form of currency risk. If you are not careful, your business might not be as profitable as expected. With that being said, you should start to benefit from corporate FX.

2. Shipping woes

Shipping is very important in getting your products delivered to your customers. There are some issues you need to be aware of, such as late delivery, damaged products during shipment, and so on – not mentioning how to handle returns effectively from your clients abroad. Making sure you understand the shipping terms and conditions can help you avoid potential disputes in the future.

3. Regional policies and regulations

Getting your products rejected and returned by the customs office – even worse, seized – abroad will negatively impact your reputation – not mentioning the loss of profits. Understanding the policies and regulations is the right thing to do when you are about to export your products overseas.

4. Cultural clash

Building a partnership with an International partner can be a complex issue as there are some sensitive matters involved in the deal making process. Understanding the culture of your International partners can help you close more sales, as well as opening up more windows of opportunity for you.

Responding to those warnings above will not only give you the edge in International trading, but also help you to gain trusts. And believe me, a trust is not something you can buy; it’s earned.