It has never been easier to become part of the global marketplace. Technology has provided the means to manufacture, distribute and sell professional cleaning and hygiene products and services to customers around the world.
However, as with any area of business, success is far from guaranteed. Your approach to exports will play a huge role in how it drives growth across your organisation. Why are you exporting? How will you find new customers? And how will you reach them? These are all important questions that you need to answer – and attending trade shows is one of the best ways to build the relationships that help you unlock new markets.
Why you need to keep doing what works for your business
So, export is now part of your growth strategy. Your business has spotted an opportunity and plans to take full advantage. But let’s just hold on for a moment… What does it mean to become an exporter? And how can you do it successfully?
There are many reasons to move into exports. Perhaps you have a higher production capacity than you need locally and want to make the most of this in. Maybe you’ve noticed an opportunity in another market that boasts great demand for your products or services. Either way, there’s one important thing to remember when developing your export operations: remember where your business began its journey.
Your business grew from nothing in your current markets, and exporting is no different. If you treat these new operations as part of your overall growth journey, you’ll set smarter – and more achievable – targets that make success more likely.
Research the key to discovering new markets
If you want to succeed at exporting professional cleaning and hygiene products and services, identifying the right market(s) to move into is critical. Choosing the wrong one could set you back massively by stalling your growth or even removing appetite for global growth within your business.
Whatever you plan to sell, market research is essential. If you gain a thorough understanding of your target export markets, you’ll give yourself a much greater chance of success – especially as you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed.
It’s also important not to be too ambitious to begin with. Avoid moving into too many markets all at once. You’ll probably find it useful to test yourself in one new market before moving on to others as you become more experienced and effective at realising the opportunities available.
This stage of your journey can be difficult (and often expensive), especially for smaller businesses. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, seek out export experts; they’ll be ideally placed to help you plot a path forward in a way that’s relevant to your business and its USP.
How will you distribute your products and services?
Once you’ve identified your new markets and how your business meets a demand, you need to work out how to deliver. Do you plan to export your products or services yourself, or will you find a distributor to help you access new regions?
There are good reasons to adopt either approach. It all comes down to which route is the best fit for your business and what you want to achieve. For starters, looking after the exports yourself provides you with the greatest level of control over every element of the process. This includes the way that your products are priced and marketed – something distributors would take most of the responsibility for when selling on products.
A key factor to think about is money. Any distributor will negotiate significant discounts from you on the basis that they’re taking on the practical risks of bringing your products or services to a new region. That’s something you’ll need to build into your projections if you choose to work with a distributor.
Having said that, money is far from the only thing to concern yourself with. Sure, you’ll make more on each sale you make in the new market, but what about the logistics of that sale? The big reason to consider working with a distributor to begin your export journey is that it keeps everything simple. Are you ready to take responsibility for shipments, paperwork and marketing in an area you aren’t likely to be an expert in? Distributors will take all of this on for you, giving you the most straightforward route to your chosen market.
Another question to answer is whether you want an exclusive deal with your distributor or not. Many will likely ask for it anyway to increase their own potential sales, but your decision must be based on how it suits your overall objectives. Exclusivity can reduce the level of access the market has to your products or services, but it also incentivises the distributor to work harder to succeed on your behalf. In this scenario, you wouldn’t be just another supplier to them, so can benefit more widely from their market knowledge.
Again, it all depends on what you want to achieve, which is why it’s important to talk to experts who can help you understand your export choices.
How to meet the people that matter to your business
As mentioned above, there are a great many elements to consider when exploring your export options. Ultimately, you need to know what you want to achieve, but it’d be no surprise if you didn’t know how to reach that goal. After all, if your business hasn’t focused on growth through export before, you’re unlikely to have the right in-house experience and expertise to make it a success. And this is where industry trade shows come in handy…
A common mistake that many people make is in thinking that trade shows are all about meeting customers and making sales. They’re certainly amazing for that, but there’s so much more to an exhibition than its exhibitors. At a trade show, you gain access to the conversations that can make a difference to your business – hearing experts in their field share their insights, while building the relationships that shape your future.
Networking is an absolutely vital part of any event. When it comes to developing your plans for exports, you’ll find everyone you need on the exhibition hall floor. Whether you chat through the challenges with industry peers or begin discussions with distributors, you’re guaranteed to find people who can help you take your business to the next level.
Discover the right route to export success at Interclean Amsterdam 2020
If you’re ready to start the conversation about export for your business, look no further than Interclean Amsterdam 2020. The world’s most advanced cleaning and hygiene show, it has earned an international reputation for being the top choice among industry professionals.
With more than 33,000 visitors flying in from 143 countries, it’s also the largest event of its kind in the world – and the ideal place to make the connections you need to build your export strategy.
Distributors are one of the top three groups represented at Interclean Amsterdam, so you’ll have no problem finding a partner who can (at the very least) help you start answering some of the big questions around exporting. It’s highly likely you’ll come away with a much clearer picture of how to pursue growth in new markets – or even with the handshake that starts your export journey.