Taking a business international is not just for large businesses and corporations. Small businesses are exporting their products overseas and increasing their sales along the way. If you are looking for a way to gain more customers and boost profits, why not open your small business to the rest of the world?
Going international does not mean packing up and moving to a foreign country or even opening a business on another continent. You can sell your product online, allowing you to keep the profits without leaving home.
What You Need To Sell Internationally
Selling internationally can be a great way to increase your profits, but there are a few things you need before you go international.
- A website
- An ecommerce web hosting plan
When selling online, consider switching to a Web hosting plan that includes ecommerce features such as a shopping cart and secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.
An ecommerce plan allows you to post your products with images, descriptions and specs, and it gives customers the ability to securely order your products online, no matter where they are.
- A merchant account that accepts foreign currency
For more information on setting up a merchant account, visit http://www.wbsonline.com/resources/small-business-merchant-accounts/.
Chances are, if you are going to sell internationally, you will need a translation service. This can be to translate your website, product documents, or for general correspondence with customers.
For more information about foreign language assistance, visit http://www.wbsonline.com/resources/foreign-language-assistance-for-small-businesses/.
U.S. Export Assistance Centers
The SBA, the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Export-Important Bank all offer assistance to small business owners who are trying to make their business international. There are many online resources, including www.sba.gov/international and www.export.gov. There are also centers located throughout the country to help with financing, export insurance, and other questions you may have about going international. To find an export assistance center, visit www.sba.gov/international.
International Loan and Financing Programs
The SBA has three loan programs designed to help small businesses sell to the global marketplace.
- Export Working Capital Program
This loan is for small businesses that need additional working capital to support their foreign sales. Most U.S. banks do not lend for export orders, so the SBA provides lenders guaranties for export products.
This loan helps small businesses develop or expand their global markets.
- International Trade Loan Program
This loan helps small businesses who plan to start or continue exporting and who have been affected by competition from imports.
For more information about these programs, visit www.sba.gov/international and click on the loan program name or visit our article on International Loan Programs at http://www.wbsonline.com/resources/international-loan-program/.