Finding an international market as a small business can be wonderful news. Open to you are new customers, new demand and resulting growth as a business.
However, increased international demand increases the need for international shipping. International shipping managed correctly, doesn’t need to be a problem. Yet for those unused to international demands, some snags can be hit.
So, when turning to international shipping, here are some aspects to look out for, and some tips on how to use international shipping to your advantage.
International Shipping Laws
Rules and Regulations
Each country will have its own rules and regulations around imports and exports. Depending on the countries you are looking to ship to, you may end up with more or less difficulty. It is key to make sure you are aware of these laws to avoid legal trouble and to reduce costs.
Consider Demand Levels
Some countries might not be worth shipping to due to the difficulty, so make sure you are aware of the levels of demand for your products or services from areas around the globe. Weigh up whether the demand makes dealing with international laws worth it.
Consider Future Demand
Also bear in mind international countries overall marketplaces. Though you may not have a high demand right now, is it worth persisting with shipping to this country due to the opportunity for growth?
Seek Efficiency With International Shipping Costs
Finding the best courier can really help in reducing the costs of international shipping. Much like with home-based shipping, different couriers will cost different prices. Be careful to consider quality as well as price, however. You don’t want to turn customers away from re-buying with your business due to poor packaging.
It might be smart to hire a customs broker to achieve the most cost-effective price and avoid any issues with laws and regulations.
Tricks With Shipping
Bulk shipping will reduce your costs, as often couriers will offer a lower price for bulk than each shipping individually.
Much like with outsourced work, try bartering with courier services. Often you will find you can get a better deal this way.
Choosing your packaging wisely can protect against breakages. If you ship fragile items, the packaging is critical, but it is key regardless of what you are shipping.
An international journey is quite different from a home-based shipping journey. Your products are kept for longer and may face a bumpier journey. Upping protective material is key, so your products don’t arrive at the customer’s door already broken or scuffed.
Some key packaging essentials to look out for:
- Strong boxes. It may be more eco-friendly to reuse boxes, but a worn box won’t offer much protection for your products.
- Bubble-wrap. Bubble-wrap should be used to protect each item before it goes into the box.
- Paper or larger bubbled bubble-wrap. Soft material like these is great to fill the air space in boxes. This should stop your products from moving about inside the box.
Now you’ve considered all these issues; you should be ready to ship. International markets can really help small businesses, so make sure to deliver to them well!