For business owners who are just beginning to export their products outside their country of origin, the trade can be shady and difficult to interpret. Here are some items that you need to get right in order for you to successfully trade and export your products internationally. Ensure High Quality of Products When your business has grown big enough that it is now capable of reaching markets outside of...
Posted by Vernon Haskins on Jun 29, 2016 in Business | Comments Off on The Basics of Importing and Exporting Goods
For business owners who are just beginning to export their products outside their country of origin, the trade can be shady and difficult to interpret. Here are some items that you need to get right in order for you to successfully trade and export your products internationally.
Ensure High Quality of Products
When your business has grown big enough that it is now capable of reaching markets outside of your own country, then you need to ensure that you get all the elements right to sustain the growth. The biggest companies in the world became what they are today because of their ability to extend their reach internationally. To be successful in exporting you need to ensure that your product is of good quality and that it meets certain standards.
Pricing determines how much you can earn out of a single unit of sale and it also dictates how much the price of your product once it hits the stores or when it reaches your target market abroad. If you price it too low you may not be able to recover the cost of transporting the goods and the taxes you paid for the export. If you price it too high, the international market may not respond to it. It is important to get this figure to be just right.
Observe legislation Guidelines
Many businesses who had aspirations of becoming international distributors had their dreams crushed even before their products left the local shores or landed on foreign ports and markets. The primary reason for failure in exporting is the failure to follow regulatory laws and guidelines in your local country of origin and the destination country where your products will supposedly be distributed. Review the legislation in both the originating and receiving countries regarding exporting to avoid violations, fees and fines.
Get Legal advice in Drawing international Contracts
When you are planning to export you need to outline your business relationship as the supplier to your distributor in the destination country where you are exporting your products to. To put everything in black and white you need to have a legally binding contract. Because your business partner is in another country and they may be covered by different contract laws, you need to hire a legal expert to get this aspect right for you.
Obtain Insurance Protection
When you travel your products out of your own shores you are exposing yourself to financial risk. Consult a business insurance provider on your options on how to get insured from the risks of financial loss should your contracted business partner fail to do their duties and responsibilities as originally stipulated in your contract with them.
Exporting is the dawn of a new stage in business growth. The fact that you are opening your market to a wider consumer pool could mean that your business or your company is headed to greatness. There are however important things to consider in ensuring that nothing blocks your way in exporting to success.
Branding a business is not easy, from personal experience i know the difference when I got this right (the business took off) and when I got this wrong, the business just sort of stood still. The issue itself isn’t in how you brand the business from day 1, because obviously small start-ups don’t have the budget to pretend to be a huge corporation. But its how your company looks and feels from day 1. I think most people refer to this as the company culture. In this article I’m going to run through a few things I think are important when you are branding your business or creating a company culture.
I used to work in London’s branding division, so I know a little bit about the importance of branding and how when it is done correctly can make your business image sell your products for you!
Tip 1 – New is not better.
Despite what Barney said in the hit show How I met your mother New is not better. Now sure tech advances means that new is sometimes a lot more efficient. But from a pure marketing and branding perspective, new is not better. New is in fact “A lot more difficult to promote as no one has the trust for your business or even believe you or your company” – That’s what new really is, but I guess that is less catchy than Better!
The remedy is to simply grind through the first 2 years. 50% of start-ups go out of business in 2 years. Of the 50% remaining around 10% go on to create million dollar businesses. So the odds aren’t really in your favour, but they sure as hell are a lot better if you survive your first 2 years!
Tip 2 – More is not More.
Working in London I dealt with clients that had £100,000 to spend on a campaign as well as individuals who only had £2,500. The campaign scales themselves were very different but the process behind them, not so much. Essentially you don’t have to have a huge budget to have a huge impact. Think about it this way. If I did something that got myself and my business newsworthy or viral, that would generate a lot more business than £50,000 in advertising. And that is the truth nowadays. New marketing revolves around smart social advertising, not corporate TV ads. It’s the truth. Less is not less but more is not more.
Tip 3 – Brand Yourself
Personal branding is probably the single most effective branding technique of the 21st century. With Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. Everyone is connected all of the time. This means if someone likes you as a business or sporting or any sort of personality, you can create this audience into a successful channel for your branding and marketing by simple investing into building your own personal brand. This is something people like Gary Vee and Mark Cuban have started doing more and more and its becoming more and more successful. As people don’t buy from companies, people buy from people.
If you’re anything like me then you want to be as efficient as possible, especially when it comes to your business. Recently technological advancements have enabled us to have hugely optimised businesses and speed up production, manufacturing, delivery and all kinds of business processes. The interesting thing is, the industries that haven’t caught up yet are beginning to die off or get revolutionised.
If we look at 2 of the biggest industries in the world and 2 of the oldest industries ever – We see hotels (staying somewhere) and taxi service (Getting lifts.) – These industries have been around since the dawn of time it seems. In the olden days instead of taxi’s we would have got a horse (or a camel or donkey) to travel large distances. And when we reached out destinations, we would do what? Stay in an Inn. I mean this story literally is as old as the bible so we know these are old business types for sure!
But over the past 5 years (yes just 5 years) these industries have been completely pulled apart.
Just to put this into perspective. That’s an industry that is 2000+ years old being re-created in 5 years. If you haven’t already guessed what I’m talking about then (where have you been) but also it is of course Uber and Airbnb.
Airbnb is now valued at $24 billion… That’s all generated in less than 5 years… Because they focused on 2 key things. 1.) Allowing your customers to market and scale for you. And more importantly 2.) Technology – Do you think Airbnb would be anything like it is today if we still didn’t have phones? But its more than that. Think about a small element, if digital cameras weren’t invented (or at least mainstream) – Then the images the people use on these websites (such as their house listings) would be so difficult to generate and the whole process would break down.
Airbnb is the closest thing you can get to an automated billion dollar business. Think about it this way.
Users list their properties – Users take photos of their properties, add all the essentials to a listing and then simply write a description about what they are offering.
Verified – The verification process is semi-automated, but also costs the individual to process, this removes bots and spam from the site. The listing and location is then verified by the Airbnb team to ensure the images actually show what the room or house looks like (otherwise they would get a lot of spam and that would waste everyone’s time) – But this is the only un-automated process to the entire strategy.
Users “promote” their properties – There are hundreds of ways to do this, but generally to get the initial reviews you will ask family and friends to stay in the property for a day. Again to reduce spam Airbnb doesn’t allow free trips and they still charge fees based on the price per night. Another way to get people to stay in your house early (before you have positive reviews) is to reduce the price greatly and simply state
Reviews are generated by consumers – You can only write a review if you have actually stayed at the property itself, this reduces spam greatly and these reviews are usually honest. The more positive reviews the higher you will rank in the general Airbnb search (similar to the Amazon search engine)
Scaled & Repeated – This process is then scaled and repeated, but everytime an individual books Airbnb will get their fee per night. For example I paid approximately £800 to spend a month in a nice apartment in Budapest, Hungary. The fee to Airbnb was £80. Which is about 10%. That’s 10% of all sales going through Airbnb. This is one of the reasons why they will break $1 billion dollars in 2016.
If you have 20 minutes to spare I would highly recommend watching the below video. it talks about Joe Gebbia and the story behind the start-up of Airbnb. The name was created when he and his roommate put an airbed on their floor so a friend could come and stay over. Initially this was in San Francisco during the busy conference season. As San Fran is such a business and start-up Hub nowadays, most of the people that come stay in expensive hotels and when 2-3 conference all run at the same time the hotels raise their prices to ridisoucous levels, and even then all the hotels sell out.
So the option for these event attendees was to a.) Either avoid the event, which in most cases was seen as the only option. b.) Stay 1+ hours away from the event location itself, for example stay on the outskirts of the city and then commute in the morning (rush hour) or c.) Find someone’s house to stay at. Now Joe’s idea was simple, he wanted to have people that could make money by renting their rooms or homes during these extremely busy periods. They could charge a good rate as the season was there, but the individual would also get a good rate as they wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel at the extremely over-priced rates in which most companies raised their prices to, during the conference season.
You can watch the whole video below, its a good start on how grinding and entrepenurs really make their “overnight success” businesses. Love the Airbnb Guys. Next up we will talk about Uber!
Uber – The Biggest Taxi Company in the World
Uber is another company that was founded in San Fran about 7 years ago, but has only become mainstream in the last 2 years. Uber has just actually come to my personal location, which means they literally are internationally global now. With an estimated value of 51 billion dollars…. For a company that was only officially funded in 2009! That is some crazy serious money! That I personally can’t really comprehend. If you don’t know what Uber is or how it works, you can check the 5 min video below it will explain all.
So why am I writing this post? – Talking about 2 Billion dollar start-ups that came from San Fran… What relevance does that have to you or me?
Well the reason I set-up Caabi was to provide business support and advice to people on how to scale and build their business. I love marketing, I even own a marketing company in Cardiff UK. And I know the main problem we had was building our business from £100,000 a year to £1,000,000 a year. Initially we did this in a terrible inefficient way. But nowadays my partner and I work 5 hours a day and make this amount because we utilised TECHNOLOGY (and good staff) – Tech is there to make your life easier, so make use of it! Please!
Posted by Vernon Haskins on May 26, 2016 in Business | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Starting A Successful Technology Business
Lots of people are wondering how to reach success in starting technology business. First of all, you should somewhere and I suggest starting from yourself. Do you know a lot about technology or marketing? Do you know what latest technology fabs are? How is technology different today from the past and what strategies would you use in marketing to advertise your business?
The point is that you have to learn a lot about marketing and technology before you even start. In fact, it is really important for you to learn very much before starting something. These five tips might help you out though.
Getting The Customers’ Attention
Attention – that is one thing you want to elicit from your potential customers. They need to crave what you have to offer, or want to buy it or desire it. Certainly, you cannot bully someone into buying something, but instead you can use subtle manipulation techniques to get these people in a state of mind where they will actually want to buy your product, or get your services.
The Mutual Respect
People need to relate, but in addition to that they also have an innate desire to be accepted and respected. If you manage to show people respect in your business then your marketing and business will be successful. Remember that behind every computer, and every tablet, and every smart phone, there is a human being and try to reach them. Reaching out that human being and being sincere is what creating a great business is all about.
Digital Marketing And New Opportunities
When it comes to digital marketing activities and Internet marketing, it can be said that Internet marketing is usually done through search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, social media marketing, as well as many other ways in which social media is used for marketing purposes, such as sending emails and reaching out to people on their social media. Still the term is yet unfamiliar to many, so you will get numerous advantages of using it before others.
Honesty As Your Policy
Saying that your company, or your product or business for that matter, do not have drawbacks, is a mistake. Remain focused on what is good and emphasise that the things which are good, but make sure that you genuinely believe in it. On the contrast, if you start telling half-truths or using unethical methods when it comes to Internet marketing, you will soon be able to close your business, because people will see right through you.
Know Your Stuff
Make sure you are not getting yourself into a business you know nothing about. It is always the best idea to do something you love, but also something you know really well. If you do not know nothing about technology, but are still very passionate about it, I would definitely recommend learning more about it first.