The export-import trade has been one of the most rapidly expanding sectors of the economy. With the internet’s development, export-import enterprises are attracting new customers. Several have already begun integrating ERP systems into their operations.
But this doesn’t imply that innovation makes making money in this sector any simpler. Regarding market developments and international political difficulties, many export-import businesses fail because of their inability to adapt.
When you’re an importer and exporter, your profits and losses are affected by changes in customer preferences and international politics worldwide. Monitoring your import and export business while also keeping an eye out for global headwinds is a stressful and challenging task in and of itself. Don’t worry; here are five ways to boost your trading profits right now.
1. Keep time with a universal standard
Many people have voiced that a 9-5 work week is not nearly enough to run an export-import business successfully. Clients in other time zones are just getting started with their days. You don’t have to be at work to keep your business running. You need only devise the most effective plan to serve customers from various countries.
You may start immediately by moving your operations to the cloud for storage or managing your workflows. Use a supply chain management program or a cloud-based inventory system to keep tabs on shipments easily.
Secondly, communicate with your suppliers and clients using the same medium of choice. WeChat should be installed for Chinese users, Facebook Messenger for American users, LINE for South Korean users, and WhatsApp for users in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world.
This will help you connect more effectively with your supplier or client. Traditional email is outdated, and instant messaging applications have made photos simpler. Video calls are easy to perform from any location.
2. Learn about the other culture
Just knowing when your customers or suppliers are most engaged isn’t enough. The next step is to learn about the cultural norms of the nations where you do business with your suppliers and consumers. This step will lead you to a more fruitful and long-lasting partnership with your supplier.
For instance, if one of your suppliers is Japanese, you should not shake hands but exchange business cards or bow politely. It’s important to remember that staring is seen as an aggressive and unfriendly gesture in Japan, so try not to hold eye contact with anyone for too long.
A business card is a must in certain other Asian countries. Therefore, when you give yours, do so preferably with both hands. Apply the same standard when you are the recipient of such kindness. Avoid putting it in your pocket or wallet immediately; many Asians find it impolite. Scrutinize the business card and save it carefully.
3. Work with many currencies
Because your suppliers and buyers come from different nations, you will inevitably have to deal with various currencies in your export-import trade. However, you shouldn’t restrict your company’s growth potential by accepting US dollars solely as payment.
Facilitate transactions in the currency of your customers and suppliers. You’ll be overwhelmed with paperwork and spreadsheets if you’re still doing everything by hand. Multi-currency support is an essential component of any transaction-related software. The capability to deal in multiple currencies will facilitate customer sales.
4. Make your export and import operations more efficient.
Export-import operations are high-pressure environments that require quick thinking and action. Stock must be reordered precisely in time to prevent either overstocking or running out of stock, and orders must be fulfilled as quickly as feasible. Those are only a few instances of tedious daily chores that will consume more of your time if you do them by hand.
Because of this, you must immediately implement the use of a software system to automate these operations fully. Because the program handles so much physical work, you can devote more time and energy to growing your company. Use software that can be adapted to your unique business needs rather than the other way around.
5. Check your export-import firm’s cash flow.
From time to time, you should focus on nothing but the cash flow of your organization. If your company has a steady cash flow, it’s likely doing fine and hasn’t encountered any serious problems. But if you’re experiencing a negative cash flow, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your company running.
Some Strategies for a Quicker Time to Market
One method is working from the ground up with reliable manufacturers and suppliers from the beginning. In other words, you should look for them at international trade fairs and on international trade portals. You would have probably tried them out with a few short orders before committing to larger ones. Eliminate as many as possible, and be sure to have backup providers in place.
Having a third-party quality assurance service perform the checks is another option. They can often detect problems before the product even leaves the factory. This will spare you the trouble of receiving dock disappointments, unnecessary returns, exchanges, and conflicts. This information will prove invaluable if you cannot physically visit the nation of origin to verify shipment status.
Like a quality control inspector, a customs broker can help get your goods through customs faster. You lose time and money when your items are stuck in a bonded warehouse due to misclassification or lack of proper documents. Also, you’ll be hit with storage fees every day. Further, to get your imports cleared, you may have to deal with more than one government agency.
Your final option for saving money on transportation is to employ your freight forwarder. In most cases, having your suppliers deliver the goods is most practical. However, familiarize yourself with standard shipping terms like CIF and others. Find out who is in charge of what and where their duties end. The hidden importation costs might affect the profit margin before the goods are sold.
Any business that exports goods or services can obtain an export house certificate. Companies operating in India that hold an Export House Certificate or export status are among the best in the world in bringing in revenue from overseas customers. Those who export goods, services, or technologies and have an import-export code are considered export houses. According to their annual export performance, companies earn an “export house” classification.
The suggestions mentioned above are simple to put into practice. However, finding the right software to improve business operations is not simple. Choosing which software can sustain your business operations would be best. A faster method must exist for a business owner to access their company’s cash flow. By doing so, they will always be able to make the most informed choice possible.