There are many avenues you can take to locate an international business partner for your products. It is not as difficult as someone might think. The effort definitely needs time, patience and sometimes money. Here are 12 conventional and unconventional tools and ways you can promote your company to an international destination.
1. Foreign Students: The most overlooked source for leads and market information is through communicating with foreign students in your country. Remember that these foreign students are a representation of the foreign market consumers, a source for cultural and market information and they might be able to get you connected to their homeland market. Your business can even offer summer intern opportunities to achieve mutual benefit for your business, the intern, and the participating school.
2. Obtaining leads Lists and utilizing export management companies: You can purchase import export leads from an international leads provider or you can use International trade companies to sell your products overseas. Some exporters offer connecting you directly with a foreign agent for a fee and/or a percentage.
3. Visiting the foreign market: If your company is financially capable, you can send your sales people on an overseas business trip. Meeting face to face with different companies will enable you to make an educated choice of who should represent your business, the foreign market conditions, what your competitors are doing, and a lot of other valuable insight.
4. Advertising: Advertising about your company in internationally distributed magazines like the ones available on international flights or in a publications produced in the targeted market can draw international attention to your products.
5. US Department of Commerce: For every country, there is a Country Desk Officer at the US Department Of Commerce. This is a source for useful information. They can be located by searching US Department of Commerce website.
6. The National Trade Data Bank: Many US embassies around the world produce monthly reports pertaining to the country they are located in. These reports come with information about new laws, market research, upcoming projects, exhibits, business key contacts and companies looking for US products. The reports are provided in a government database known as the National Trade Data Bank that is accessible online as well as provided in CD format.
7. International Trade Associations: There are a number of international trade and exporters associations in every country. These associations gather within them a treasure of experienced international traders covering every spot in the world. Joining them will definitely increase your business internationally and provide you with valuable data about your primary market and other opportunities around the world. They are also usually visited by trade delegations where you will have an opportunity to make contacts face to face.
8. Industry Specific Associations: Joining associations related to your specific service or industry may increase your international opportunities. Many associations have foreign members you can associate with and many foreign companies contact them looking for business partners.
9. Overseas Trade Shows and Exhibits: Participating in trade shows and exhibits that are held in your targeted foreign market is a direct and very effective connections producer. You can contact the foreign countries embassies in your country and ask them to provide you with a list of upcoming trade shows that match your interest.
10. Your Local Trade Shows and Exhibits: Big trade shows and exhibits in your country are frequently attended by foreign companies looking for products to purchase or represent. Pick the exhibits you should participate in by studying their attendance statistics.
11. Online Import Export Boards (like this board): There are many online forums (some are free and others for a fee) that you can join and be able to post trade leads about your business and interact with hundreds of overseas companies.
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