In this time of uncertainty it’s hard to look forward. However, as business owners, there’s no other option. It’s a good time for planning and for some that includes taking the leap into exporting. We are sharing a post on the subject done by Jacqueline Torcellini with Global Growth Strategies, LLC, who is a member of the CTmrg Service Team.
Many companies are continuing to manufacture and provide service to their existing clients. Some are having issues with sickness in the workplace and still others are facing production problems because of supply chain disruptions. Companies are unable to obtain the materials needed for them to continue production after their current supplies have been exhausted.
This is affecting all manufacturers across the board from food production to paper products, medical supplies, and aerospace. As many companies look to obtain materials from new suppliers and develop new relationships there may be concerns about navigating these relationships on both ends. Developing these relationships can be a conduit to expanding into new global markets.
Companies use many different avenues for market entry. Of these methods, sales representation, distributor relationships, partnerships, licensing agreements and franchising are the most prevalent. Many companies have had to put international growth plans on hold because of needing to balance different priorities during our current reality.
It is imperative to keep moving these international growth plans forward even if you can not implement them in the next few months or until the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021. Our new normal may be different but there will continue to be international opportunities. Try to reset your monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals and make sure:
- International growth plays a part of your overall company growth strategy.
- Explore federal, state, and private resources to assist in shaping and implementing priorities.
- Determine how your industry may change and how you will respond.
- Identify if your current policies and procedures are up to date with today’s requirements.
- Have new rules and or restrictions been implemented which will affect your ability to export?
- Reevaluate who your main domestic and international competitors are and position your business accordingly.
- Explore new ways of reaching your customers domestically and internationally.
- Think about and ask how you can help your customers beyond your current relationship.
- If you are not currently engaged with your local community, think about was you can help.
- Stay positive!
Utilize available resources to mitigate risk including vetting your new supplier before you have signed a memorandum of understanding or a contract. Determine how a successful relationship can be developed across borders, example: framing appropriate contracts using INCO terms or setting up realistic and beneficial payment terms. Assessing existing supply chains is a practice that is standard in the manufacturing industries, in order to stave off disruptions. However, there has not been a disruption of the magnitude we see occurring today.
Having an international footprint helps companies stay competitive. Plus, growth that includes international markets is rewarding! Building relationships around the world and learning from each other’s perspectives through these interactions is exciting. The tenacity, commitment and planning needed to bring success to an international growth plan is imperative.
Whether you are working in an office or remotely try to use this time to evaluate and update policies and procedures for each department of your business and determine how international clients are impacted. Do not wait until the world opens for business to prepare for export! Start setting plans for compliance, intellectual property considerations, methods of payment, relationship building and other topics now so you can launch when the time is right!
Jacqueline Torcellini with Global Growth Strategies, LLC, is a member of the CTmrg Service Team for the upcoming CTmrg Manufacturers Only Workforce Summit. CTmrg is dedicated to combining resources to help build the strongest possible manufacturing environment.