Owning a small, local business is nice. You don't have to worry about shipping through customs or dealing with multiple currencies. But what if you want to take your business global? Where do you start and what should you consider? There are numerous aspects of your business to consider when deciding to take your business global, but here are our top five features for you to use as a starting point.
1. Target Market
When you take your small, local business international, the first thing you need to consider is your target market. In what country or countries do you want to sell your goods or services?
Don't spin a globe with your eyes closed and sell to wherever your finger lands. Do your research and make a wise business decision. Is your target market known for scams? Sell to safe countries and avoid those with a high risk of fraud--such as Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, and Russia. If you decide to accept orders from these countries, be sure you screen all of your transactions, call to confirm orders that look suspicious, and cancel any transaction you feel necessary in order to prevent fraud.
2. Know Your Competition
Now that you've decided on a target market, you need to know your competition. Research the trends and news for the country, or countries, you're targeting--but do it over time so you're not making decisions based on one good or one bad week.
Here's some food for thought: In the past several weeks, I've seen dozens of news articles talking about South Africa's e-commerce economy, how it's growing, and how research trends predict that it will continue to grow. I've also seen news articles about online apparel being one of the top e-commerce industries.
3. Know the Language
If your target market speaks another language, consider hiring someone who can speak it too. Not only will this new member of your team be able to speak with customers over the phone and answer email inquiries, but he or she can also help you translate your website so you can localize your content. What's the point of selling to consumers in France if they can't understand you or your website?
4. Multi-Currency Processing
Not being able to accept payments in multiple currencies is the second deadly sin of e-commerce credit card processing. When you take your business global, consumers will look to another merchant if they can't pay you in their local currency.
Does your current payment processor allow you to accept transactions in multiple currencies? Our in-house developers designed our payment gateway to support multi-currency processing in more than 160 different currencies--and you can even receive payouts in 18 major currencies.
5. International SEO
Don't assume that your US-based SEO tactics will be effective in other countries. Google is an international search engine, but different countries have their own sites--Google.fr in France, and Google.ca in Canada. Make sure you have individual SEO campaigns for each country in your target market and in their native language too.
Are You Ready to Take Your Business Global?
Being a small business doesn't mean you have to sell locally. If you want to take your business global and sell to consumers worldwide, contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-318-2713 to apply for an international merchant account today.