Starting businesses that grow and become successful in time often calls for various techniques and methods to keep that growth steady and that success constant. Whether you deal in consumer goods or you have restricted your business to a unique niche, nothing can ensure that the condition of the market will keep on favoring you and your business. For this and many other reasons, you have to go beyond your scope.
The bottom line is that your customers don’t care if you run into some technical difficulties or something else, they just care about their order and the money they put into it. They just want their product to be shipped to them in time. If you want your business to experience significant growth, expanding beyond borders could be the right step. This is precisely the reason why we have written this article.
The first step is that you have to decide which items you are going to ship and where you are going to ship them. This might require some research but the major steps are the same everywhere.
· Start small and close. It is human instinct to feel safe and comfortable near home. The same kind of analogy applies here. Make sure that you become familiar with the international markets that are close to your country. Starting small and close helps boost your confidence.
· Become aware of the current demand. The next step is to familiarize yourself with the demands and the requirements of the people in the country you plan to ship. Become aware of the popular niches and try to deal with direct customer demands.
· Try to find the non-local goods that are in demand. Products like traditional and cultural goods can prove to be quite profitable and can earn you a lot of revenue due to the unavailability in other countries.
The second step is to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of other countries regarding the shipping of some goods. There are some countries that bluntly prohibit the shipping of some goods while others have policies that are quite flexible. Either way, you are going to have to deal with each one accordingly. There are some ways in which you can get information about these rules and regulations. United Parcel Service (UPS) has a tool that shows country-specific rules and regulations by origin and destination countries.
The choice of selecting a suitable shipping carrier is also very important. Shipping carriers like UPS, USPS, and DHL Express, etc. can help you with most of the heavy lifting. Using multiple carriers can save you a lot of money but there is an increased chance of your records of shipments and deliveries going haywire.
Next comes the packaging of the products. It is essential to keep the packaging sturdy yet simple before shipping the product. You would not want your customers to have to struggle for an hour just to get a single product out. You should be able to get most of your packaging products and tools online or you can also get them from your post office or office supply stores. It is essential to make an estimate of the cost of packaging with respect to the total cost of the product.
Before calculating the final cost you have to analyze the products you are shipping and their types and sizes. This difference affects the pricing of a shipment. Managing your shipping costs is an essential part of the process. There are numerous ways to find your shipping costs. You can use a shipping calculator provided by many shipping carrier services.
Once you have determined the cost of your shipping, you need to structure your shipping which can be done in the following ways.
· Free shipping. This is an excellent strategy if your business is new to international shipping because this can help you gain a lot of customers. Free shipping is an excellent choice for your customers.
· Carrier rate shipping. This is valid if you have integrated your business with a carrier service like UPS, USPS etc. Carrier rate shipping is quite customer friendly since it allows your customers to choose from a set of options.
· Flat rate shipping. This is an option if your business is consistent in international shipping. If your shipping product is consistent in size and shape as well as cost of shipping, then flat rate shipping may be a worthwhile option.
Duties and taxes are determined by the shape/size of your product as well as the cost of shipping and any insurance that may be associated with the product. Duties on products can be applied in two ways namely: Delivery duty paid (DDP) and delivery duty unpaid (DDU) both of which are described below.
· delivery duty paid (DDP) is the type of duty tax in which you as a merchant pay all the taxes and fees that may apply to your product after shipping it internationally. Usually your carrier service pays these and then, later on, sends you the bill but that is not always the case.
· Delivery duty unpaid (DDU) is when the customer pays all the fees and taxes associated with the product that she ordered. You have to make sure that in DDU the customer is aware that she has to pay these bills at the time of shipments to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
It is necessary to have a strategy in place initially before taking any major step in your dropshipping business. It is never easy start such type of businesses in the first place let alone starting to ship internationally but with the right guidance and strategy in place, you can get familiar to almost all of the major steps you have to take in order for your business to advance.