by Helen Koker

Global is the new local.

So, you’re dreaming of starting your own business, perhaps a side hustle, or maybe something you’re pouring your all into. You’ve come up with the perfect plan to begin, you might have even coasted through the first year and if you’re lucky you’ve broken even. But you want more, you’re wondering what the next step is.

Here, we share our insights on how to create possibilities for your business in the coming year.

How well do you know your customers? Do you understand their needs and motivations, what is driving them and what they struggle with? Be sure to consistently develop your products and services to suit their needs, be aware that these needs are constantly evolving and you should too. Encourage feedback, ask questions and establish a plan to break down the identified barriers.

Social Media is an amazing tool to help you get and stay in touch with your existing customer base, as well as allowing you to cast your net a little wider. Here, you can use social listening to gain valuable insights into what your customers are saying about you and identify trends and keywords that appeal to your target market. Through social media you are only fingertips away from the world, with platforms like Facebook and Instagram allowing you to connect with potential customers all over the globe.

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are no longer limited to local opportunities found on their own doorstep. Now that you’ve immersed your business in social media and developed a multi-channel e-commerce plan, you can start to gauge demand for your product or service all over the world. With cross-border trade a proven way to grow your business, restricting yourself to a backyard-mentality could mean missing valuable opportunities for growth.

Independent Research from FedEx Express in 2018 revealed strong trade opportunities for Australian SMEs, with half of the 250 Australian SMEs surveyed reporting cross-border trade as accounting for 50 percent of their annual turnover.

The report highlighted quality as a driving factor behind the high demand for Australian products, with  almost half (49%) of respondents citing the perception of quality as one of the predominant reasons, followed by good value for money (38%) and the reputation of Australian-made products (36%). When it comes to exports, the current top three markets for Australian businesses are New Zealand (34%), China (28%) and the United States (24%).

In 2017, another FedEx survey of 1,000 Chinese online shoppers revealed strong demand for Australian goods, with the Australian way of life being a leading motivator for purchases. This independent research showed more than 8 in 10 (84 percent) Chinese online shoppers highly likely to buy at least one Australian product in the next 12 months, with 81 percent having purchased at least one Australian product online in the past.

The world is your oyster.

Thinking about shipping to countries outside of your own can be a daunting step, but it doesn’t need to be. SMEs and businesses just like yours are overcoming these challenges by bringing logistics experts on from the beginning. By partnering with an established and highly regarded company like FedEx, you can manage pain points such as delivery timeframes, customer trust and perception, supply chain challenges, customs and regulatory requirements.

To help you gain competitive edge in the marketplace, get the latest trends and inspirations to grow your business, and find out more how FedEx can connect your SME to more possibilities, visit FedEx here. 

We would love to hear your thoughts