Are you eyeing international markets for your business expansion? We talked to Sam at MACVAD, a local company with an export division selling into 30 overseas markets. He shared about their path of seizing the opportunity and the unexpected challenges they encountered to selling overseas. Below we've unearthed some of Sam's nuggets of wisdom that could be your roadmap to global success. Dive in to discover what you wish you knew before going global!
Finding the Right Partners: Before venturing into unknown territories, the importance of establishing the right third-party logistics (3PL) partners cannot be overstated. MACVAD shared their experience of stumbling upon the wrong partners and the subsequent need to change course. The key? Talk to locals, understand the market, and choose wisely.
Legal and Compliance Challenges: Legal compliance and tax regulations can be a minefield. Sam emphasised the importance of understanding local legal compliance and tax regulations. They learned the hard way, having to rework products to meet local standards. The lesson? Do your homework in advance, and don’t shy away from seeking local expertise.
The Thin Line of Local Resources: When it comes to finding resources like 3PL or forwarders, local resources, especially within New Zealand, can be thin. MACVAD found that websites often offered sales pitches rather than substantial help. The solution? Building relationships on the ground, networking with other businesses, and sometimes reaching out overseas for specific advice.
The Challenge of Specific Advice: General advice might be available locally, but for specific insights into different overseas markets, you may need to look beyond your borders. They stressed the need to consult local market experts, as things change rapidly, and local insights are invaluable.
Embrace the Challenge, Reap the Rewards: Expanding overseas is not a walk in the park. It's challenging, but the rewards can be substantial. Sam encourages businesses to start the journey, acknowledging that you won't know everything upfront. The opportunities are vast, and the effort is worth it. As they put it, "It's going to be challenging, but it's worth the effort in the end to keep going."
The Scale of Opportunity:
The overseas markets are large, and even a small share can translate into significant business growth. The comparison between New Zealand's population of 5 million and Germany's 80 million illustrates the potential scale of opportunity. The advice? Just do it, learn along the way, and don't be afraid to trip up.
Expanding your business internationally is a thrilling yet complex journey. Our conversation with MACVAD has shed light on the importance of choosing the right partners, understanding legal compliance, navigating local resources, and embracing the challenges with a positive outlook. The road may be winding, but the destination is worth every twist and turn. Are you ready to take the leap?