Is exporting products overseas really so difficult?
Did you know? According to Businessweek, almost 46% of businesses abroad don’t export their products to foreign markets because they don’t know how? Considering the ever growing buying capacity seen in some foreign markets, this is a disappointing fact. But the truth is, if you are well-prepared, motivated, and confident, exporting your products to overseas businesses is not so difficult. Here we will look at 5 elements you may consider to help you get started exporting products.
CONNECTING WITH CHINESE CUSTOMERS
Visiting trade fairs is an excellent way to introduce your business and products to other business abroad. Thousands of business representatives and people attend trade fairs providing excellent opportunities and fast networking. You can meet and talk to many business representatives and immediately begin forming relationships and trading company information. The time and effort in attending these trade fairs, we believe is an investment. The majority of trade fairs in China are held close to large cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Beijing. Thus, if you are worried about the language difference or transportation, you can take comfort in the fact that most business people in these cities will be able to communicate to you in English and transportation options are readily available. Some businessmen take up the practice of booking a flight and hotel to Hong Kong and taking a train to Guangzhou or one of the large cities where the trade fair is held. (As more planes leave and enter Hong Kong, the opportunity to shop for cheaper flights is increased.) Finally, don’t forget to apply for a visa at least one month prior to your departure.
However, if visiting a trade fair is not an option for you and your businesses, a second option is connecting to businesses similar to your own and seeing if they have any recommended connections or leads overseas. It might take time to find some overseas connections this way, however, if you are committed, it’s very possible to find some overseas buyers through networking.
CONTACTING A DISTRIBUTOR
Some companies recommend using a distributor to help with the exporting process. Although this option comes with a price, it can be a good option for businesses new to the exporting process. (It’s also a useful method for companies who may not have the time or people designated to handling the exporting side of your business.) A distributor will know the overseas market well and can offer advice and assistance on customers clearance, packaging and documentations, importing regulations, and export certifications needed (it varies from country to country). Most distributors offer help in many different areas including marketing guidelines, trademark regulations, etc. Even if you just use the help of a distributor to help you get started, the fee you pay the distributor could be an investment.
CHINA’S CCC MARK
To export most products into China, your products must comply with the standards and regulations outlined in China’s Compulsory Certification (CCC). This certification is issued by China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA)
There are 21 product categories that require the CCC mark.
– Electrical wires and cables.
– Switches for circuits, Installation protective and connection devices.
– Low-voltage Electrical Apparatus.
– Small Power motors.
– Electric tools.
– Welding machines.
– Household and similar electrical appliances.
– Audio and video apparatus.
– Information technology equipment.
– Lighting apparatus.
– Telecommunication terminal equipment.
– Motor vehicles and safety parts.
– Motor vehicle tires.
– Safety Glasses.
– Agricultural Machinery.
– Latex Products.
– Medical Devices.
– Fire Fighting Equipment.
– Detectors for Intruder Alarm Systems.
– Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) systems.
To get the CCC mark your company must go through a process. First, there will be an inspection of your factory/company. Second, there will be a follow-up inspection of your enterprise. Finally, your products will be sent to authorization laboratories in China. No matter where your business is located, you must receive the CCC-mark if your products will be marketed in China. If you export products that do not have the CCC-mark, your products will be held-up in customers and perhaps seized or destroyed.
Finally, we strongly recommend you register your trademark in China before you start exporting your products. China’s trademark registry process is based on first-come-first-serve standards. Thus, it’s recommended you to register your trademark before you ship your goods. It’s not required that you register your trademark, however, it’s recommended as this can protect your product and company’s name/reputation.
Is the market for your product flooded with competitors? Every year, increasing numbers of businesses are connecting to the Internet. Your ability to form relationships with businesses and market your products to vastly different markets can offer your company new opportunities you never thought possible. Depending on your product and country of origin, demand for your product could be higher; the demand for foreign products are often greater in other countries. Furthermore, the market for your product may not have so many competitors overseas.