Written by: USA2Me
Small businesses operating outside of the US have a unique challenge that businesses owners in the states don’t have to consider. Not only is shipping products a greater challenge without a US mailing address, but currency and laws can affect everyday transactions too. The Internet has made it possible to do business with the US from another country, but the real world hasn’t quite caught up yet. Fortunately, there are a number of fixes these business owners can use to solve their sales dilemmas.
International shipping leaves a lot of gaps in transit that make it hard to pinpoint where a package actually goes to. New advances in tracking enable crews to tag containers more efficiently; ensuring goods shipped overseas generally arrive on time. New advances to the containers themselves make it easier to transport and unload, which is especially important when you are dealing with perishable stock.
The package can check in at various points along the route, and be re-routed accordingly. This is usually done online, through virtual mail forwarders that give you easy access to your packages enroute. Customers can even put holds on their packages, or have them redirected to a different location automatically. That’s a huge time saver for businesses that manage inventory spreading all over the world.
Currency and Payments
Currency can be an issue for businesses of all sizes, but small ones have an especially tough time dealing with currency exchanges and rates internationally. Certain countries may have completely different payment systems than the US does, which makes it very difficult to exchange money. If exchange rates change unexpectedly, you could find yourself paying out of pocket just to do business.
Cost is another factor, as shipping internationally carries a significantly higher cost to the business. Shipping in bulk is a good way to cut costs, but you might need to partner with a supplier at your destination to make the operation cost-efficient.
Research is your best friend if you plan to open your business up to international dealings. Especially when you deal with US customs, which can be very thorough when examining packages arriving in the country. It’s up to you to understand the various laws pertaining to what you can and cannot ship legally, and to provide the proper paper work to account for everything you’re shipping.
Marketing directly to customers may require postal mail forwarding. You can utilize a US postal mark with these services, which give your materials the appearance of being local. Customers can even place orders at US-based address and receive packages you ship internationally.
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