How to Overcome Small Export Business Problems

Anyone with a small export business or thinking about starting one knows that many potential problems can arise. While some of these problems are out of your control, there are others that you can do something about. This article will discuss some of the most common small export business problems and how you can overcome them.

What Are the Most Common Problems Faced by Exporters?

While there are many problems one can face in this business, some are more common than others. Regardless of what industry you're in, here are some of the most common problems you could face as an exporter:

Getting Funding for Exporting

One of the most difficult things for small businesses is getting funding. This is even more difficult when you're exporting because banks and other financial institutions are often reluctant to lend money to businesses that are new to exporting or don't have a proven track record. There are a few ways you can overcome this problem:

  1. Look for alternative funding sources such as venture capitalists, angel investors, or government grants.
  2. Use your savings to finance your exporting business.
  3. Find a partner who is willing to invest in your business.

Finding New Buyers (or Diversifying the Already Existing Client Base)

You need to have a good mix of buyers from different countries to reduce your business risk when it comes to your customers. By doing so, you'll be less reliant on any one buyer, and if one market slows down, you'll still have others to fall back on. Luckily, there is more than one way to find buyers and diversify.

The most common method is to use trade shows. Attending trade shows is a great way to meet new buyers worldwide in one place. You can also use online tools such as LinkedIn and Google to find potential buyers. Once you've found some good leads, you can contact them directly via email or telephone.

Another way to find new buyers is to use an export management company (EMC). EMCs are companies that help manufacturers find buyers for their products in foreign markets, and they usually have a good network of buyers they can connect you with.

Building an Exporting Network

With a strong exporting network, it will be easier to succeed in the exporting business. A good network can provide you with the connections, resources, and information you need to grow your business.

Starting this part of your journey is the hardest part, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. You can always start by attending trade shows and networking events and joining online communities and forums related to exporting. By building relationships with other exporters, you'll be able to learn from their experiences and avoid making the same mistakes they did.

Don't be intimidated by the size of your network. They can still be valuable resources even if you only have a few connections.

Supply Chain Disruptions

A disruption in your supply chain can majorly impact your business, and this can cause production delays, lead to stock outs, and damage your relationships with customers. None of these things are good for your business's long-term health and success.

Supply chain disruptions should always be anticipated, as you simply never know what could happen. A solid plan will save you from much pain should a disruption occur.

There are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of disruptions:

  1. Have multiple suppliers for each component of your product. This way, if one supplier has a problem, you can source from another supplier.
  2. Build strong relationships with your suppliers. You can avoid or resolve issues by having good communication and working together more quickly.
  3. Have a contingency plan in place. This plan should include alternate suppliers, routes, and methods of transportation.
  4. Be proactive in your communication with customers. If there is a disruption, let them know as soon as possible and keep them updated on the situation.

Creating Brand Awareness

Even if you've worked out the kinks for all the previous factors, you won't get far unless people know about you. That's why having a solid brand presence is just as important as anything else.

One way to improve your brand awareness is by using social media's power. Everyone is online today, so why not take advantage of that? Start by creating accounts on the major social media platforms and post engaging content regularly. You can also use paid advertising to reach a wider audience.

Another way to create brand awareness is by participating in trade shows and events. This will give you a chance to meet potential customers and partners face-to-face. You can also use this opportunity to promote your brand and products.

Ever-Changing Foreign Policies

The political landscape is always changing, which can significantly impact your exporting business. For example, changing tariffs can make your products more or less competitive. It's important to stay up-to-date on these changes and adapt your business accordingly.

One way to do this is to join trade associations and participate in their activities. These organizations typically keep tabs on the latest political developments and can provide you with timely information.

You can also stay informed by reading trade publications and attending industry events. By staying up-to-date on the latest changes, you'll be able to make better decisions for your business.

Communication Gap

One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is the communication gap. This is the difference in understanding between you and your customer. It can occur for various reasons, such as cultural differences, language barriers, and different levels of knowledge.

The communication gap can cause problems if not appropriately addressed. For example, you might make promises to customers that you can't keep. Or you might miscommunicate the price or delivery date of a product. Either way, it's important to close the communication gap to avoid these misunderstandings.

Hiring a professional translator is one way to close the communication gap. This person can help you communicate with your customers more effectively. They can also ensure your social media and marketing material is translated well, too.

Another way to close the communication gap is to learn about the culture of your target market. This will help you better understand their needs and expectations. You can learn about a culture by reading books, watching movies, and talking to people from that culture.

By closing the communication gap, you'll be able to better serve your customers and build strong relationships with them.

How ATI Can Help Mitigate These Issues

With many years of experience, ATI has the knowledge and resources to help you overcome these small export business problems. We offer a range of services, such as market research, product development, and more. We can also help you navigate the ever-changing political landscape.

We'll be happy to discuss your specific needs and how we can help. Contact us today to get started, and we'll help you prepare your food products for export.

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