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5 Tips for Taking Home Businesses to the Retail Worldwide

5 Tips for Taking Home Businesses to the Retail Worldwide

    Thanks to the explosion in popularity of shopping at online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, adflyer, Folksy and others, small retailers and home businesses are now able to sell their goods to customers around the world.

    If you’ve got a home business selling anything from handmade jewelry or vintage clothes to pet accessories, chances are you’ve already dabbled with an online store at the major English language online marketplaces like eBay. But have you considered expanding beyond English?

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    There are nearly two billion people online worldwide, but only around 34 million are native English speakers – and the vast majority of online shoppers require information in their native language before making a purchase. That means if you’re only selling online in English, you’re reaching less than 2% of your potential online audience!

    Here’s how you can get a greater slice of those international markets…

    1) Look into foreign online shopping platforms

    eBay is undoubtedly the world’s biggest online marketplace for small retailers, with 38 localized versions for all the main European and Asian ecommerce countries, and it makes a great starting place for international versions of your online store.

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    However, there are also other popular online marketplaces in different countries, which are worth looking into. Taobao is China’s largest online marketplace, generating an annual turnover of more than $80 billion USD. It operates similar to eBay, and there’s also a thriving economy of Chinese consultants helping foreign businesses to sell via Taobao.

    Likewise, PriceMinister is the most popular online marketplace in many European countries, and MercadoLibre has established itself as the ‘eBay of Latin America’. It’s worth doing a little online research before entering a foreign market to find out where people are shopping.

    2) Get your sales pitch properly translated

    The key difference with foreign online marketplaces, of course, is language – eBay España is in Spanish, eBay Portugal is in Portuguese, etc. This means that you’ll need to get your shop and product descriptions translated into these languages by a professional.

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    Online machine translation programs ought to be sufficient to understand incoming orders, or to create your profile in the first place, but they’re not accurate enough to be trusted for your sales pitch – incorrect terminology or bad spelling and grammar will destroy a potential client’s view of your trustworthiness.

    3) Set your prices for the local market

    Before you jump in with an online store for Taobao or MercadoLibre, though, it’s worth checking what price you can charge for your goods in the local economy, and whether that will present enough of a margin to make it profitable.

    One of the major barriers to shoppers around the world buying from foreign stores is the comparatively high prices, created either by high exchange rates or differing local product values. For instance, the current strength of the Australian dollar means that it’s often cheaper for Australian shoppers to purchase goods from foreign online shopping sites and pay for the shipping than it is for them to buy locally. Conversely, small Australian retailers are finding it hard to sell overseas without dramatically reducing their prices.

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    By looking at the exchange rates and the prices set by your competitors in foreign markets, you’ll get a good idea for potential profit margins. Even if the profit margin is small, you may find over time that the sheer quantity of goods sold makes up for the lower prices – or you may gradually whittle your international efforts down to just a few foreign stores.

    4) Be aware of foreign payment systems

    The second major barrier for online shoppers is payment systems – if you only accept credit or debit card payments, but your customers in China don’t use credit cards and prefer to pay by Alipay, then you’re going to see a lot of abandoned shopping carts. Before launching your online store, it’s worth doing some online research, or purchasing market reports from consultancies like Econsultancy or yStats, to figure out which payment systems you’ll need to offer for each country.

    5) Research postage and shipping carefully

    The last step to ensuring profitability and practicality is making sure that you can actually ship your goods to the foreign countries in question, and at a cost which won’t price your goods out of reach for the locals. How reliable is the local postal service? What postage options can you offer to make your products trustworthy and attractive for local consumers? Indeed, would it be cheaper to ship your goods en masse to the country in question and employ a local agent to post purchased items locally?

    These are all questions you need to consider before going multilingual across foreign online marketplaces – but the potential for new sales vastly outweighs the hassles of making your home business international.

    Source: Common Sense Advisory

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    Small Business Ideas for Going International 5 Tips for Taking Home Businesses to the Retail Worldwide 5 Strategies for Marketing Your Foreign Language Ecommerce Website

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    Last Updated on April 3, 2019

    How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

    How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

    Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

    By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

    This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

    Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

    1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

    This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

    It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

    Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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    Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

    My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

    Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

    2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

    You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

    Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

    If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

    3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

    This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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    It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

    4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

    Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

    This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

    For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

    Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

    5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

    If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

    In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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    6. Get Aggressive About It

    Consider these points:

    Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

    Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

    Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

    Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

    7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

    Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

    By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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    Finally (and most importantly)…

    8. Keep Trying

    Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

    Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

    Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

    The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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