Why business stagnates? (Article 4)
Are you ready for exports?
In last article we discussed about delegation, HR aspects & setting up production / planning systems in place; something which is overlooked by MSME owners many times. In this article, let’s talk about some key aspects of doing international business.
Are you restricting yourselves? Many industry owners feel content with the markets they are serving. But there lies a huge opportunity beyond the boundaries within which you are operating ! Especially, when you are stagnating, is it not the time to look beyond what you are doing? International business today, has become more accessible. Of course, the margins are not as good as these used to be a decade back. But if you are looking for volumes, you must go for it.
What are the challenges? There are many. To begin with, one must understand that each country you are dealing with is totally different in every aspect. The people, the traditions, the consumer behavior… everything matters. The law, the standards, customs tariffs, the quality norms… all differ from country to country. So it is wiser to have some senior person for hand holding while you are aiming for exports.
What are the benefits? One must understand that each country is a new & big opportunity. Some countries offer lots of incentives if you invest there & have a manufacturing set up with a local partner. For exports, the government also offers lots of incentives like lower or zero taxes, soft loans & so on. In terms of Brand image of your organization, exports always add value.
Are you ready for exports? Not many MSME’s are really ready for exports. It calls for a different mindset. It calls for change in work culture. It calls for on-time performance. It calls for much tougher quality control. It calls for meeting some design standards & getting your organization registered for it. It calls for stricter audits. It calls for lots of interactions, visits to the countries where you intend to do business… and finally it’s not just the top management, but your lower end staff also needs exposure to these markets.
It always makes sense to get a good consultant to bring this change, who will work more like a business adviser & look at your business from a bird’s eye to give you rational approach towards your business process.
© Nitin Kirloskar