Growth is extremely important for every business. When your business becomes stable, it is important to consider looking beyond your borders and the usual market. The best way to grow your business is never to limit the audience you can reach. You can expand your market, develop new products, and bring your company to the global stage. While growth always demands extraordinary efforts and sacrifices, the challenge will all be worth it in the end.
The challenges facing a furniture business, of course, are a bit more complex. Home and office furniture are available all over the world. The shipping fee from your location to your buyer’s location will be more expensive than the furniture itself. That makes you wonder if you can ever reach other markets aside from the local ones.
What are your most popular products? Home furniture? Office supplies? Fortunately for your business, people need home and office furniture all the time. Every time someone buys a house, that someone will eventually need to buy home furniture, right? Even if this person lives on the other side of the world, you have an opportunity to sell your products.
What Sets You Apart?
So, you make furniture. Everybody needs new furniture at one point in their lives. What do you make? Sofa, kitchen stools, cabinets, organizational boxes, etc. If your customers are going to buy a sofa from halfway across the world, it should be worth it, right? Your sofa needs to be made of Italian leather and organic vegan materials with an ergonomic design.
If they are going to ship a piece of furniture from another country, they shouldn’t be able to find that same quality or design or material in their locality. That means you have to define what sets your furniture business apart from all the others. Why should people buy from you? Why are you so different that they’ll pay the large shipment fee to get hold of your products?
Go to the Internet
There is no way for a company to go global without the Internet. How will people from Eastern Europe know about the furniture you do in Texas, for example, if the Iternet isn’t somehow involved? You need a website not only to sell your products but also to show new markets what you’re offering. You need an e-commerce site as well. And if possible, you should develop an app that your customers can download.
You need social media accounts, too. People follow international brands on social media. It doesn’t matter if they are potential customers or not. What matters is you have to get the message across that you’re eyeing to expand your reach globally.
Talk to a Courier
Who is the best courier to ship your products from your location to your buyer’s address? Will you offer door-to-door shipping or will the buyers need to pick up the furniture from a drop-off point? It’s essential to partner with a courier with a good track record. They have to pack, store, and transport the furniture carefully. The products need to be in tip-top shape with nary a scratch when delivered.
Your customers paid a premium price to get your products. The least you can do is to partner with a great courier who can deliver the items on time. Most couriers are willing to give discounts as long as they are your preferred courier for all your global shipments. Learn how to negotiate with them.
The global market isn’t like your local market. Since you will not be physically present in this new market, you have to make an extra effort to reach out to them. How will they learn about your brand? Why will they want to support you instead of their local furniture producers? Swedish furniture brand Ikea went global and was successful with its efforts.
What kind of marketing strategies will work in these new markets? You may need to partner with local marketers and social media influencers to tap the audience. First and foremost, people need to be aware of your brand and what you offer.
Deal with the Language Barrier
If your business is based in the United States, lucky you because English is the universal language. Still, it’s better to experiment with a new global market that shares the same language as you. This takes away the need to use a translator. You can also reach some places in Asia that are great English speakers such as the Philippines and Singapore.
If you are targeting a new country, make sure that your website is also available in their language. You should also be mindful of the terms they use when referring to your products. There are small language differences that can impact the sellability of your products.
After achieving success locally, most businesses want to expand their reach to the global market. However, you need to be ready for a new crop of challenges when doing business overseas. And while it can be intimidating at first, the rewards of an international business are immeasurable.