The Bao Lyon Group, LLCImports & Exports
It’s not merely enough to want to buy or sell your products internationally; you should also be prepared for this new business venture.
While export businesses differ, they all share specific characteristics, including a committed management team, production capacity, and financial capacity.
Market research is an essential step in the export process. With close to 200 countries in the world to export to, you want to make sure that you’re targeting the right ones. Through market research, we can help you to determine which countries hold potential for your products, who your competitors are in that marketplace, and what the trends are for your products in that market.
Just like your domestic business, your import and export business will require a comprehensive plan to help you identify the steps to buying and selling internationally. A business plan will help you understand the legal requirements for getting your product into a new market, determine the costs associated with importing and exporting and develop an overall strategy for this new endeavor. The Bao Lyon Group, LLC will be able to help every step of the way, preparing your enterprise for it. Contact our offices to obtain tailored recommendations and advice.
Import and Export planning
- Assess your company’s export readiness
- Build an export plan
- Research and select your target market
- Create an export marketing plan
- Determine the best methods of delivering your product or service to your target market
- Develop a sound financial plan
- Research your target markets finding suppliers and buyers for your products
- Help you understand the fundamental legal aspects of international trades, including regulations, risks, and benefits on each market.
Screening Potential Markets
- Our company can help you to obtain exports and imports statistics to see where products like yours are currently going.
- We can identify potential markets. Of the countries you have identified, which hold the most potential? Are the markets growing there? Remember to not just look at the most significant markets; look at the smaller secondary markets that might have fewer competitors.
- We can help you to target the most promising ones. Of the markets you have identified you can then choose three to five that you feel hold the most promise, and begin further research.
Assessing Your Target Markets
- Examine product trends. Look for information on your product as well as related products. You can also look to industry associations that are related to your business. Even if you’re not a member, they might have research reports available to you.
- Research the competition. You need to know who your competitors are. This includes both foreign competitors and domestic.
- Analyze the market. Research any factors that may affect the marketing and use of your product. For example, does your product name have a different meaning in the local language, or do you need to change your sizing to suit the local market?
- Identify barriers. You also need to know if there are any significant export barriers or import barriers. The most common export barriers are export controls for certain products. To check to see if there are any export controls for your products. Import barriers could include significant import duties or import regulations for your product. You will need to check with the foreign country’s customs agency to determine what these may be.
- We can guide you to choose a market. Once you have conducted market research, you should determine which market is most suitable. For a small business that is just starting exporting, we recommend that you target at most two markets at a time.
Finding Qualified Buyers
- Search online. We will help you to design a proper research strategy providing helpful reports of sites, search engines and dedicated business websites.
- Attend trade shows. For a list of trade shows, you could refer to biztradeshows.
- Contact industry associations. When researching your targeted export market, look for any relevant industry associations as they will often publish a list of their member companies or be able to provide one to you.
- Use the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of your country for companies that are export-ready and have commercialized products already.
Taking Care of Logistics
Export documentation: It's All in the Details
The foreign country to which you’re exporting or buying from, might require you to complete documentation to comply with import/export regulations. The Bao Lyon Group, LLC can prepare you to be ready for all the legal aspects of the process.
Pricing it Right
Cost based. In this method, you calculate all of the costs associated with manufacturing your product and exporting your products. Using this method, you can determine if exporting is a financially viable option for your company. Some critical costs to consider are: (Fees for market research; Production costs; export documentation; Freight insurances; Import duties; Wholesaler mark-up; Importer/distributor markup; Retail markup; Travel expenses; Translation costs; Product adaptation costs; Commissions or other costs associated with foreign representatives and entities which will provide A/R support in case or recovery delays).
Market demand. Here, you’ll research the market to find out what consumers are willing or able to pay. If you determine that your current selling price is too high for the new export market, there might be ways for you to modify your product to bring its cost down.
Competitor pricing. If there are a lot of competitors in the new market, you might be forced to match your competitors’ pricing to compete effectively.
Incoterms are the most commonly agreed upon terms of sale in international business. Please visit the International Chamber of Commerce website for a full description of incoterms.
Methods of Payment
- Cash in advance. Your company receives payment for the goods, usually by wire transfer or sometimes by cheque, or even credit card, in advance of the shipment. Once you receive the money, you arrange to ship the product to the buyer.
- Documentary Letters of Credit (LCs). These are usually a good compromise for both the buyer and the seller, and are the most common payment method in international business. LCs work by relying on banks to receive and check shipping documents and guarantee payment. For more information on LCs, contact your business bank.
- Open account. If the buyer is well established, very trustworthy, and has been thoroughly checked for credit worthiness, you might consider simply billing the buyer who will pay you at a later date, (Net Payment Terms: 30/60/90).
"Selling internationally is a great way to expand into new markets, boost your customer base and grow your business, but there are challenges you may face. How well do you know the customer? Will you be paid for your goods or services?"
"To remove these and other obstacles rely on experts with international business experience. Export services are designed to support you at every stage of the process. They can address your cash flow needs by helping to fund transactions, make trade safer by reducing payment and currency risks, and improve your business efficiency by ensuring that payments are managed securely and costs efficiently"
- Commerce Bank