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Going International With Your Home Business

Aug 17, 2007
For those home business owners lucky enough to survive the first two years, at some point, you might be contacted by someone internationally who's heard about your business. Let's face it, once youve 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 logical step.

1. Costs Increase

If you are considering exporting a physical product, you have to understand that your costs can significantly increase. Thus, your products should be made as light as possible for the purposes of international shipping. Check that youd be able to get the things youre selling to the place where you plan to sell them without it becoming prohibitively expensive. Next, check if there are any customs requirements. Sometimes even the most well planned international businesses flop because they fail to take into account local laws or customs. s

2. Non Physibal Products

The best kind of product you can sell is a digital one, because the only cost of distribution is your bandwidth. Of course, you still need to worry about currency fluctuations. You therefore might want to price your products in the currency of your country. Non physical products are often called bits on a wire products.

3. Maintain A Niche For Your Business

Regardless of your product, be sure that it caters to a niche customer base. In other words, make sure there is a market for your product in the country before doing anything. Disney, for example, made the mistake of opening amusement parks in countries that held strong anti-american sentiments. The parks performed extremely poorly. Fast food giant KFC fails horribly in China, where the general population never eats such huge meals and avoids eating anything with their hands and finds it offensive to be served food in buckets. If youre not sure, you could talk to a few local businesspeople about how they think your product would be perceived, and they may be able to suggest a suitable target market for you.

4. Produce Internationally As Well

If the cost of distributing overseas appears to be too expensive, you will want to investigate the possibility of producing your product on international soil to eliminate that cost. At the same time, if you do this, you may be able to take advantage of hiring international workers that will work for less, and purchase international materials that will also be cheaper.
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