Have you ever wanted to attract customers from beyond Nigeria’s borders? Would you like to enjoy the advantages that accrue from serving clients spread across the world?
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It’s easier than ever to reach markets located overseas. The internet, e-commerce, and global digital payments have all combined to simplify the process of becoming an international business. You can literally provide products and services to people on the other side of the ocean from you, from the comfort of your home or office.
But having these tools isn’t enough to make a successful foray into these markets. If you’re a small business and you want to establish a large customer base in a foreign territory, here are some steps you can take to make this happen.
Study The Market You Are Targeting
Learn what you can about the market you’d like to reach. Things like the nature of competition in the niche you’re in, the demand for your products or services, and legal regulations relating to international businesses (especially e-commerce, if you’re using this route).
Beyond the business side of things, you’ll also want to know about the culture and preferred modes and manners of communication. These details will prove useful when you’re creating content for this specific audience.
Work With Locals
Nothing beats personal knowledge of the local market. Not even the ton of information you’ll see on the internet. Find someone who lives (or has lived) in the country you’re interested in, and seek their advice on the process of setting up a service for that country. If you can, go for a business expert who also knows the culture and regulations of the area. Their knowledge will prove invaluable.
Leverage The Internet
The internet makes it possible for you to connect with people all over the world. With a properly built website, you could present your business to potential customers in other countries.
Find our comprehensive listings of businesses in Nigeria here https://businesses.connectnigeria.com/
But there are a few things you should figure out here. First, if you’re selling to a non-English speaking country, you might want to use a website translation widget. This will allow people in those counties to read your website’s content in their own language.
However, a website widget may not do justice to the nuances in the local language. This is where the knowledge of a native speaker comes in. If you’re working with a person in the country you’re selling to, they may help provide content that better appeals to the audience.
This point about language and cultural nuances also applies to things like blogs, social media posts, email, and other communication channels. This is true even for English speakers in other countries (expressions used in Nigeria may have a different meaning in the US or UK). Seek advice when crafting content for these audiences, so you’re sure that your marketing hits the mark with them.
Set Up International Payment Systems
This used to be a hassle. It isn’t anymore. We now have a host of online payment solutions that allow you to collect payments for products and services from people around the world. These systems cater to a host of currencies and payment modes.
You can find some of these solutions in our article, Top 6 Payment Gateways For Your Online Business.
Sort Out Fees And Logistics
If you’re selling physical products, you’ll still have to move those goods to the country in which your customer resides.
Thankfully, some logistics companies can help you ship those products across international borders. Look out for the best ones, read reviews, compare fees, and settle for one that gives you good service for your money.
Of course, you don’t have to worry about this if you’re selling services.
Provide World Class Customer Service
Your business may rise and fall on the quality of customer service it provides. Despite the great distances and cultural differences involved, customers will still expect that you take on their concerns swiftly and effectively. You don’t want to disappoint them.
Nailing this aspect of your operations will involve setting up systems that work. Have a clear procedure for addressing customer inquiries and complaints. Provide FAQs and other informative resources that they can use. And have a responsive customer care desk that attends to their messages and calls.
Building a business that excels internationally is no easy task. But you can get off to a good start by taking the steps we’ve discussed here. Over time, you may improve your processes and capacities, and become a strong player on the global scene.
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