If your company is involved in exports, you may find yourself in a somewhat difficult situation now, with borders virtually closed, and the socioeconomic uncertainty that is being created at this historic moment.
It is true that much of what is happening to us is now out of our control and there are many activities that, as a manager or owner of your company, you have to continue doing or start doing in order not to suffer completely from the situation that arose. If you are waiting for an ideal moment to come and everything to return to as it was before, well, maybe your restart will involve a bad surprise.
In fact, the world has never really stopped, it just changed the way it spins, and the big differentiator for business success now is how you handle this period.
In this article, we want to highlight the activities that, at this moment, you absolutely MUST continue in your internationalization processes, so as not to let events control your success as an entrepreneur or business leader.
United States merchandise exports fell about 6.7% in March, according to a usnews.com report, the most significant decline since the world experienced the 2008 financial crisis. In another report by rappler.com, they noted a record decline of 9.6%, according to government data released May 5, which "reflects the economic effects of the COVID-19 emergency and the containment measures adopted in our country and in the main destination countries". Imports also fell, down 6.2% from February.
Although it’s true that many activities cannot be performed due to current limitations, the following are the actions that must be undertaken during this quarantine period:
Keep relationships alive. If you already have customers abroad or are in a "discovery" phase with active contacts, be sure to keep in touch. It is not necessary that, at this moment, your contact is directed towards a sale. Your interaction aims to understand how your contact is and make you available at the right time.
Don't stop exploring. The most tedious and time-consuming part of business internationalization is the recognition of potential customers. This is a lengthy process and is usually done "at home"; therefore, this is the PERFECT time to focus on that activity.
Create valuable content. Your contacts should be informed about what you are doing and how you are coping. This will reassure them, and they will see you as a leader. As a result, they will trust you more when they need to purchase products or services. Prepare presentations, create communications about the success stories you have achieved. Provide case studies. Collect in writing everything that can be used by your customers to get to know you better, trust you more and create or bolster your brand reputation.
Analyze. Take the time to analyze the international market that you already serve as a reference. Observe key metrics, such as sales and profitability, trying to create strategies for the restart. See what your competitors are doing and find ways to differentiate yourself. Dissect cases that did not work as expected, and try to understand what you could have done differently.
Do not give up. The markets will reopen soon and you should be ready. This is the time to dare to find opportunities and take advantage of them. Understand that the restart is not when the pandemic ends or when a vaccine is found; whoever is quick and anticipatory will win over those who are waiting for a never-to-come magic signal. If you need a hand, contact us, we will be happy to assist you in this phase and plan your restart!