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My Home Business Is Going International

Aug 17, 2007
"I always travel first class on a train. It's the only way to avoid one's creditors."
Seymour Hicks

A home based business is a business whose primary office is in the owner's home. The business can be any size or any type as long as the office itself is located in a home.

At some point in your business' life, you might be contacted by someone in a far-away land who's heard about your business somehow (probably through the Internet). This will be your first encounter with the international market. For many businesses, once you've conquered your local area and done business by post or email with other areas of the country, dipping a toe into international markets seems like the next big step.

When you're trying to sell things to international customers, you need to make sure that there is a market in each country. Something that is very useful and in-demand in your country might just cause confusion abroad -- or, likewise, something that's only moderately popular where you are might be seen as revolutionary.

If you're going to start exporting, you might want to consider importing as well. If you buy in bulk, you can generally get things far cheaper from developing countries, especially the 'Asian Tiger' countries like China, Taiwan, Indonesia and South Korea. Give it a try -- you could be delighted to find that they can make your product for a fraction of what it costs you, and all you have to do is a little quality control.

When you're dealing with international customers, you need to take their culture into consideration. In some countries everyone knows English, while in others they would be offended if you didn't get your materials translated. For all you know, the name of your product might be a rude word in some language or another, or the marketing might be focusing on benefits that people from some countries are unlikely to respond to.

This is one of the reasons why you're best off selling to countries that you have some experience with. Ideally, you should have the ability to speak the language, as well as having spent some time in the country. Failing that, read as many guides as you can and see if you can meet with people of that nationality socially.

Note that you should be especially careful about dealing with countries where there is some history or possibility of political unrest, as you can lose a lot this way.

"I don't owe a penny to a single soul - not counting tradesmen, of course."
PG Wodehouse

A Home based business can be extremely rewarding, but please do not going into this thinking that it will be cake walk because I guarantee you,that cake is the only thing you will be able to afford.
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