In recent times, import/export businesses have been seen as one of the fastest-growing industries. The sector has gained more popularity and focus, due to the utilization of the internet and different digital mediums. Shipping finance banks have made this business sector a reality for many who have been finding it hard to establish themselves in the field. Access to finance is one factor – there are others.
For improved performance and growth, import/export businesses should review market trends. Failing to do so has led many towards bankruptcy. A business idea is not enough. It is important to be agile in the market. This is where most businesses fail.
Here are some tips to improve your import/export business:
Work on global time
Foreign clients may be carrying out their daily activities when you are sleeping. This does not mean it is necessary to work 24*7 to meet customer needs. It necessitates a strategy to cater to clients’ business needs efficiently.
One can run the business or use the cloud to manage workflows. Use the same chat platform as the client or vendor to make things easy. These chat applications can override email and enable the swift dispatch of files and photos.
Businesses can opt for video calls anytime and anywhere to communicate with their clients.
Every export/import business will have to deal with different currencies. This is because they deal with vendors and customers from different countries. Don’t limit transactions to US dollars alone.
Try to make the business easy for the other party by trading in their currency. Tackling business using documents or spreadsheets can be difficult if done manually. Use software that comes with multi-currency features which will speed up transactions. Using this type of software solution will make the process smoother for all parties.
Study and understand trading partners
Knowing more about the active hours of vendors and customers is just the beginning. The next thing is to understand the cultures of vendors and customers. This will help to build long-lasting relationships.
For example, when dealing with customers or vendors from Japan, handshakes should be replaced with a polite bow. Exchanging your business cards is also a good idea. Keep in mind staring is considered rude and aggressive. Then there are some other countries where carrying business cards are very important. In some countries it is expected to use both hands to give and receive business cards. In Asia don’t simply put the card into a wallet or pocket as they consider it as a rude gesture. Take a good look at the card and treat it with respect.
Monitor the cash flow of the business
Keep an eye on cash flow. Smoother cash flows mean your business is doing well. If cash flows are not good it means business operations have issues which must be addressed quickly.
Business owners need to have easy and quick access to their cash flows. This will help them make instant decisions for the good of their business. Accounting software that includes cloud storage comes in handy. It can be accessed using a mobile phone, which increases its usefulness.
Improve business efficiency
It is important to be quick in the import/export business. Stock up inventory on time to avoid the issues of overstock or understock. Process every order as soon as possible. For the same reason, using a software system that can automate tasks is advisable. An automated system will preclude performing repetitive tasks and provide time for improvising the business. Be sure to choose software that can be customized to suit the business.
We have provided tips that can be used to boost the growth of import-export businesses. These businesses work on an international basis and require a lot of commitment, trust, financial independence and strong teams. An efficient system is important as is an easy business process to make things easier. When everything falls into place, good growth potential is possible.