The profiles of the Ulster finalist of the business achievers

Find below the profiles of the the business achievers Ulster finals. They now go for the big prizes at the final on 4 December. Which one is your favourite? Tweet us @smallBC, #businessachievers

Business Start Up: Arklu (Donegal)

Arklu is a children’s entertainment company, specialising in dolls. Having launched their doll brand Lottie in August 2012 they are now selling in 30 countries via a network of 16 distribution partners. The character is being developed through a series of books and through animation. Lottie is described as “a wholesome alternative doll based on a nine year old child” who “does not wear make-up, jewellery or high heels”.

Small Business: Cornerstone Automation Systems (Londonderry)

Established in 2001, the company now employs 60 people in a 70,000 sq. ft. facility in Campsie.

It manufactures and integrates a full line of cutting edge product handling systems for manufacturers and distributors. Automation systems include shipping systems, in-motion scales, sortation, box opening, order picking, receiving systems, dispensing systems, print and apply systems, robotics as well as necessary software and controls to integrate.

Established SME: BA Kitchen Components (Cookstown)

Established in 1990 by Brian McCracken, BA Components has grown steadily to become a major manufacturer of kitchen, bedroom, bathroom doors and accessories.

Its  customer base ranges from small UK retailers to large kitchen, wholesale, furniture, DIY manufacturers, contractors and retailers throughout the UK, Europe and  Asia Pacific.

The headquarters are based in an 80,000 square foot factory in Cookstown with a workforce of 95.

 International Business: Almac (Craigavon)

Headquartered in Craigavon, Almac is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. Services include state-of-the-art drug discovery, world leading cancer diagnostics, research and development, manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, formulation development and the support of global clinical trials. Today the global organisation employs over 3,500 staff in a diverse range of activities

 Social Enterprise: Employers for Childcare Charitable Group (Lisburn)

EFCG encompasses a registered charity and two Social Enterprises, Employers For Childcare Vouchers (EFCV) and Employers For Childcare Solutions (EFCS). The aim of the charity is “to make it easier for parents with dependent children to get into work and to stay in work”.

 Food and Drink: Avondale Foods (Craigavon)

Established in 1965, Avondale Foods the family-run company is located just outside Lurgan on Chestnut Farm. Avondale initially grew and sold vegetables before moving focus to research and development and subsequently diversified into vegetable processing. With products supplied under own label and Country Kitchen brands, the company supplies most major supermarkets.

 Agri Business: SlurryKat (Waringstown)

Slurrykat specialises in the design and engineering of the very latest cutting edge, world class agricultural machinery. It is at the forefront of technological innovation and is currently exporting over 140 different products to more than 20 countries worldwide. A global brand Slurrykat is now widely accepted as the trendsetter and market leader in slurry management systems.

 Women Led Business: Moy Park (Craigavon)

Moy Park is headed by Janet McCollum who was appointed Chief Executive in January 2014.

The company offers a range of fresh, high quality and locally farmed poultry and complementary convenience food products to all the leading retail and food service customers in the UK and Europe. As Northern Ireland’s largest private sector company it employs 12,000 people with 14 main sites in the UK, Ireland France and the Netherlands, accompanying mills and hatcheries and 800 farms in its supply chain.

Special Recognition Award: Vita Liberata (Doagh)

Vita Liberata is a luxury self-tan and skincare brand and its products are sold in 24 countries worldwide. Vita Liberata is recognised as the world’s most advanced non-toxic, organic tanning brand. Founded in 2003 by the current CEO Alyson Hogg to offer innovative skincare that truly delivered, in 2007 Alyson saw a gap in the marketplace for a luxury self-tan with skincare benefits combined, suiting the needs of women on the go.

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This post was originally published here - on thinkbusiness

5 Essential Accounting Skills for Small Business Owners

The role of a small business owner can be difficult because they are required by necessity to assume a number of different roles including that of an accountant or bookkeeper. Staying on top of your accounts is critical to the success of any business small or large. Although there are many accounting skills that can be of benefit to small business owners I regard the following as the most essential ones.

Accounting Skills: Recognition of loss making business activities

Small Business Owners must recognise any business activity which is not turning out a profit. These business activities may include long running business products which are in demand from the business’s customers but which have become expensive to produce, due perhaps to a shortage of raw material. If the increased cost o production cannot be reflected in the sale price, then production of the product should be discontinued. Continuing to sell a product line below cost will inevitably lead to serious losses within the business.

Small Business Owners will sometimes consider the loss of some of its customers with the lack of profit on a certain product line. If the product line concerned is an inexpensive product which contributes a very small profit margin it may be acceptable o suffer a small loss on the product line in order draw customers to the store. This concept is generally known as a “Loss Leader” and is often seen in certain industries such as the furniture retail business. One item, say a coffee table is put on display at or slightly below cost in order to attract the public into the shop with the view that everything is priced similarly low there. When a customer enters the shop they will usually purchase one or more expensive products along with the coffee table.

Cash flow monitoring

Small Business Owners should continually monitor the business cash flow in order to ensure that any up and coming cash surpluses can be invested profitably and earn a good return on investment. Any expected cash flow shortages must also be carefully provided for with additional short-term bank finance or personal loans. A business may be running profitably with a full order book and loyal customers but a cash flow shortage for even a short period of time can lead to the business becoming bankrupt or being forced into liquidation.

A business will have a set bank overdraft limit and this usually cannot be increased at short notice. If the business is delayed a large payment from one or two customers for eight to ten days it can have a devastating effect on it. The business will have to pay its suppliers and its staff and if it cannot raise short-term finance or organise a loan to the business then an unpaid supplier or a union representing unpaid staff will apply to the courts for a winding up order for the business.

Control of overhead expenditure

Small Business Owners should keep a careful watch on overhead expenditure to ensure that profit margins are not being exhausted paying for excessive day to day running expenses. Overhead expenses will include business rent, rates, light, power, telephone, advertising etc. Some of these overheads are fixed and unavoidable such as rent and rates but other overheads such as advertising are variable and must be controlled to avoid excessive use of profit margin and cash flow.

Annual budgets should be prepared to determine the correct amount of variable overhead expenditure each year in line with expected sales income. Strict adherence to budgeted overhead expenditure is necessary and any excessive spending on; advertising for example, can eat into gross profit and create an accounting loss which may not be discovered until the financial year end.

Controlling staff costs with staff production

Small Business Owners should ensure that labour costs are adequately matched with the revenue created by each staff member. Staff should not be reimbursed for merely attending the work place during work hours. Staff attributes such as skill, timekeeping, loyalty etc. should be taken into account when a new member of the workforce is being recruited.

A Small Business invests heavily in its work force and a return on this investment is essential if the business is to continue profitably. Controlling of staff costs and recognition of each staff member’s productive capabilities is an essential skill for all Small Business Owners.

Business break-even analysis

Small business Owners should analyse the business break-even business projections at the beginning of each fiscal year or each major business contract. This analysis will always form part of a business plan prepared by a new business prior to commencing trade but should be prepared by business owners when quoting for a new contract or at the beginning of a financial year.

If this analysis provides evidence that the business will not break even, in other words the business will run into a loss making situation, then the business venture should not be undertaken.

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Invoice Discounting Vs Factoring – Which Is Better For A Small Business?

When a business faces financial crisis and with the growing demand for working capital in the market, securing finance to meet your daily business needs has become an item of luxury. The banks are growing to be even less credit-friendly as they were and obtaining working capital is becoming more and more difficult for both small and large scale companies. In this post we look at invoice discounting vs factoring and how it can impact on your small business.

For those not familiar with Invoice Discounting, it is simply a short term loan provided by financial agencies to the business owners, utilizing the unpaid sales invoices as collateral. Factoring on the other hand is the selling of the invoices to a third party at a discount. While both the terms may sound the same to many, there are often noticeable differences between the two.

Invoice Discounting Vs Factoring

  • Factoring arrangements are a complete sale of ownership of the debt owed to your company to a 3rd The invoices are sold at a discount with an agreement that the payment for the invoices will directly be collected by the 3rd party which is also known as the ‘Factor’. This not only provides immediate cash flow into your business but also relieves you of the burden of collecting debts for the unpaid invoices. Chasing unpaid invoices is often a time consuming process which can affect your business further. Factoring thus takes care of your short term finance requirements and your debt collections.
  • Invoice Discounting on the other hand, is a loan borrowed against the invoices which are held with the financing organization. As compared to Factoring, the business owners retain the right to collect the payment for the pending invoice. The finance company also charges a monthly fee and interest on the loan. While this doesn’t provide the same benefits as Factoring, it is more helpful in maintaining client relations. The Invoice Discounting is often done on a confidential level between the business and the financing company and the client will never get to know about the funding.

What Should You Consider For Your Business?

If you own a small business it is often confusing to choose between Invoice Discounting and Factoring as both of them have a fair share of pros and cons. Although, both are being put off by several businesses due to the financing organization’s high demands from the applicants and only suits a handful of businesses. Factoring indeed seems to be a better choice for small businesses as you have a flexibility of putting only a portion of your total invoices for sale while still maintaining your valuable and more trusted clients.

One must remember that most small businesses thrive on the healthy client relationships and selling up the more profitable clients can stain your business’ reputation in the long run.

Despite of Invoice Discounting and Factoring being popular the popular means to raise short-term finance can provide several disadvantages to small businesses. One can also opt for the several other means for finance, available for small businesses. Short-term bank loans, invoice financing, equity financing, peer-to-peer lending, government loans and grants etc. are the various other methods through which working capital can be raised for your business.

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New Loan Support Welcomed for Ireland’s Small Business Community   

The network of Local Enterprise Offices is teaming up with Microfinance Ireland, to launch a new type of loan support aimed at Ireland’s small business community.

The ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan was launched in Cork with small business loans on offer, of between €2,000 and €25,000, at a reduced rate of interest. Benefitting from advice and support during the application stage, start-ups and small businesses can now apply directly to any of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country for the new ‘LEO Microfinance’ loan package.

Under a new Protocol between the LEOs and Microfinance Ireland (MFI), it is expected that up to 250 new applications for the loan support will take place this year alone. Based on an average loan size of €15,500, the €3.8 million in lending is expected to support 500 jobs nationwide.

Importantly, loans are generally unsecured and can be used for working capital, as well as items like equipment, hiring new employees and marketing campaigns. Start-ups and small businesses across all industries and sectors, which employ fewer than 10 people, are being encouraged to apply if they are finding it difficult to access credit.

MFI, a not-for-profit lender, was established in October 2012 and received its first loan application the following month. It was set up to deliver the Government’s Microenterprise Loan Fund, announced in the Action Plan for Jobs.

Around half of MFI’s loan applications already come through the LEOs, and the newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer of MFI, Michael Johnson, is keen to encourage many more start-ups and small business owners to apply through the LEO network. Speaking ahead of today’s launch, he said: “Since Microfinance Ireland opened its doors less than two years ago, we’ve made significant progress, approving loans to 308 small businesses, providing €4.8 million in lending, supporting 711 jobs to date.”

He added: “We are in a demand-led business, so for every loan application we receive, there could be ten or more potential loan applicants out there, still finding it difficult to get finance for their business. For those new start-ups and small business owners who meet the criteria, our advice is to talk to your Local Enterprise Office and apply for the new loan support. Supporting jobs is at the very heart of what we do and providing loan assistance to viable businesses through the Local Enterprises Offices will help unlock a company’s potential to create those jobs.”

Welcoming the launch of the new loan support, Vincent Reynolds, Chairperson of the LEO Network said: “Through this partnership arrangement with Microfinance Ireland, our aim is to assist the small business community in gaining access to the credit they need now, to help their business develop and grow into the future. If microenterprises are the driving force behind the Irish economy, then access to credit is critical for our recovery and job growth. This new loan partnership is a welcome addition to the range of supports, now available through the entire Local Enterprise Office network.”

Michael Hanley, Head of LEO in West and North Cork said: “As the ‘First Stop Shop’ for anyone wanting to grow their business, or start one up, Local Enterprise Offices are well-placed to understand the needs of small businesses in their communities. We understand that getting access to credit can be difficult, especially for people getting new ventures off the ground. By partnering with Microfinance Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices can now offer a tailor-made loan product to our small business clients, at a reduced rate for the term of the loan, in addition to our other enterprise supports.”

Three microenterprises, which have successfully applied for MFI loans through the LEOs, are invited to showcase their products at today’s launch. They include: PAP Healthcare Ltd (suppliers of sleep apnoea machines to the medical industry), Fastnet Catch Ltd (producers of breaded fish and shell fish, with gluten-free ingredients) and Veronica’s Snacks (distributors of healthier snacks and crisps under the ‘Veronica’s’ brand).

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[Event] Free ‘The Perils of Business Growth’ Seminar, September 16

At long last we are starting to see some signs of recovery and business growth, however, this comes with its own risks, many businesses have failed as a result of uncontrolled growth, so business owners need to be careful.

Broadly there are three categories of risk associated with business growth:

  1. Financial – Increased turnover requires increased working capital, if it’s not available, your business goes bust.
  2. Infrastructure – Growth usually requires more staff, more systems and more training.  Often businesses get one or all of these wrong with potentially disastrous results.
  3. Tax and Compliance – The larger the organisation, the larger the compliance burden and the more important tax planning becomes.

We are running a free seminar for business owners to help them negotiate these hazards and plan for successful growth.  Everyone is welcome, all we ask is that you register in plenty of time, so that we make sure you get a bacon roll!

Venue: Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island, Lurgan.

Date: September 16th

Time: 9.00am for a 9.30am start (bacon rolls with registration from 9.00am), finishing with tea and networking at 11.00am

Speakers: Warren McCleary (McCleary & Company Ltd., Chartered Accountants)  and Jason Holmes (Lumen Financial Planning)

Please register using this link BOOK NOW.

For details of other McCleary & Company Events please register for our monthly newsletter at


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How to Cut Costs When Organising a Business Conference

Nowadays the importance of face-to-face meetings is obvious. We are looking at so many opportunities that are available and when it comes to conferences, everything is a lot more necessary and needed than in the past. These meetings are necessary for so many different reasons and while it is so hard to organize them, this need automatically leads to price analysis. Saving money is something that is always necessary.

The problem is that we cannot simply save money by doing cost cutting. It is really important that we do all we can in order to choose the correct answers. This is definitely something that is a lot more complicated than you may be tempted to believe at first glance.

Choosing a Correct Venue

Most of the money you can save is available by simply taking a close look at the venue options available. Choosing a perfect conference venue that is affordable in terms of price and quality offered is what will help you out the most. Never choose something that is too expensive. It is not difficult to save money if you just stay focused on the best venue.

Cutting Costs on Services

You do not necessarily need to agree to absolutely everything that is offered by the venue you chose. Remember that time is precious and you will be tempted to save money and time by just agreeing to a specific package. However, most of the different venues that you will consider will include many opportunities that you were not aware of so that you can save a whole lot of money. All that you would have to do is ask. Make sure that you do so and you analyze what the contract allows you to do and what not.

Using the Internet for Information

The more information you have about the options available for you at the moment, the higher the possibility you will make a correct choice. The World Wide Web does offer all the information that is needed in order to make the best possible choice. For instance, when you live in London, you can easily find the best possible venues by simply looking at search engines for business conference venues.

It is also important that you use the internet in order to learn more about how to organize the perfect business conference. The truth is that all you really need to do is remain informed at all times. There are so many things you might miss out without even realizing it. What counts is to know exactly what options are available for you.

We have to add that we can also include various different blogs in our list of resources available for research. There are many internet professionals that talk about the many different opportunities that can be taken into account and it is not hard to learn how specialists deal with cutting costs. Organizing conferences may be a necessity these days but it is not something that has to be done with huge attached expenses.

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Quality Design: Manufacturing Collaboration for Impressive Teamwork

If you are a believer in the philosophy that many hands make light work, teamwork should be right up there on your list of priorities.

Collaboration is often a successful ingredient in getting results within your business and this will the show itself in producing better results through impressive teamwork.

Here is a look at some of the ways that you can boost the quality aspect of your manufacturing process by pulling everyone together and working successfully as a team.

Success you can measure

Team performance is measured in a number of ways and manufacturing companies such as are one of a good number of organizations who understand the importance of collaboration throughout the manufacturing process.

Encourage workers within a team to look out for each other whilst still striving individually to produce the highest level of output. Also avoid assigning blame to a single worker when there is a breakdown in the line of production.

You should measure success in terms of a team performance and then look to reward accordingly when the group achieves targets through their strong alliance, even if they are working on specific tasks with the group.

Learn from the past

Another positive way to create a good level of teamwork is to study peers and previously successful projects.

It often inspires employees to learn from those that have been there before them and how they previously attained success and reached their targets. It can also be a great idea to bring in previous leaders or inspirational figures who have moved on to other achievements, as a way of motivating your current team to reach these same peaks.

Balancing rewards

When it comes to manufacturing, there is often a thin line between suppressing creativity and trying to reduce costly errors in the production line.

You need to devise a system that tries to avoid the negative aspects that comes from punishing failure and concentrate on rewarding a successful uplift in output, without avoiding any safety issues that need addressing.

This is indeed a tricky balancing act to get right. But if you aim to find a suitable middle ground that incentivizes employees but keeps their performance within strict safety levels, your business should prosper.

Process and product are equally important

It is essential that you don’t let the pursuit of maximum output outweigh the need for safety at any time.

Make sure that workers are fully drilled on the need for rigorous safety procedures and that they have access to all the documents and training needed for them to be compliant in this respect.

This is particularly vital when a new worker is introduced into the team. When this happens, they have the potential to raise the risk profile and may end up endangering their own safety and that of their co-workers.

Process and product are of equal importance and for everyone’s safety and re-assurance, this is a message that has to be understood and acted upon at all times.

It also has to be instilled into any new team member, so they truly get the sense from day one, that they are joining a business and a group of workers who believe in the importance of teamwork.

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Linked Finance; Curious Wines expands

Michael Kane is a friend of Smallbusinesscan. He and his brother are looking to raise 30K through Linked Finance. They are already at 75%. You should have a look.

Cork wine company Curious Wines run by brothers Mike Kane and Matt Kane, one of the first wine companies in Ireland to use the web and social media to get business, are innovating again. The brothers are expanding their business by opening a wine warehouse and retail space in Naas, just off the M7 as a foothold into the greater South Dublin area. However, rather than relying on the banks to finance the expansion, it was apparent they had the necessary funding right at their finger-tips – through their own customers.

No more cajoling

“We needed an additional €30,000 of financing but instead of jumping through hoops by having to educate, prod and cajole a bank manager, we went to the people who understand and believe in our business: our customers, our friends.” stated MD Michael Kane.

Curious Wines are one of many businesses in Ireland using new forms of financing, based on peer-to-peer lending or crowd-funding. Here they’re using LinkedFinance, where individuals get to bid “micro” loans at rates that suit them. When enough people bid the loan becomes an auction, with the loan fulfilled at the lowest rates bid. Where Curious have struck gold again is in offering the loan to their customers first.

“We’ve never seen such an enthusiastic response to a loan on our platform.” commented Marc Rafferty of LinkedFinance. “Normally we would experience 20-30% loan fulfilment in the first week of a loan being offered. With Curious it was 75%, and at rates we haven’t seen before.”

Rafferty continued: “Curious Wines has embraced Linked Finance as a way to raise finance to expand their Irish business in the ultimate fashion. By engaging with their own customers, they have driven the speed of the fulfilment, and driven down the rate at which people are prepared to invest in them. Not only are they receiving the finance they need to grow, they’re turning their current customers into lenders and advocates for their business and they’ve also publicised their wine business to the thousands of lenders supporting Irish SMEs on Now that’s what we call a real alternative to the banks!” continued Rafferty.

The loan auction ends on Tuesday 24th June and details can be read here:

Would you get €30,000 from your bank in a week?

Matthew Kane, Curious Wines’ Operations Manager who will run the Naas location: “We’re blown away that in just a week we’re at 75% of our €30,000 loan without pushing it that hard. We sent an email to our newsletter list and put up a few tweets and our friends and supporters spread the news via word of mouth. It’s a total endorsement of what we’re doing by our own customers.”

Curious Wines are of the view that new direct to public financing models are a future that SMEs need to consider.

Michael Kane MD: “Despite all the fancy advertising saying banks are lending money, they’re still far too conservative, we would urge many SMEs that are looking for financing to investigate LinkedFinance as an options. These could be the credit unions, the community coop banks of the 21st century”

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Business support; Microfinance Ireland

Crowd funding

I was at the Innovation 2.0 conference and at the entrepreneur’s day as part of the world conference on entrepreneurship. Two great conferences. There was a common theme (Drucker has always said that entepreneurship and innovation are two sides of the same coin) and that was crowd funding. In Ireland we have Linked Finance, Fundit, nTrai, iFund, Moneycrowd and Cofunder. I am sure that I forgetting some and please let me know if I have and we will include you.

Micro finance

Another form of finance is Microfinace Ireland. With its spanking new CEO Michael Johnson, an old friend of Smallbusinesscan. They manage the  Microenterprise Loan Fund. It is targeted at start-up or growing microenterprises across all industry sectors. We work with businesses based in the Republic of Ireland, with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than €2m. Providing unsecured business loans of €2,000 to €25,000 for commercially viable proposals that have been declined bank credit.

They will also consider co-funding bank proposals. Microenterprises that have experienced both formal and informal declines from their bank are eligible to apply for a loan with us. The interest rate on our loans is 8.8% APR fixed and repayments are by monthly direct debit. Loans are generally for 3 years for working capital facilities. Loans up to 5 years may be considered if it involves financing of capital expenditure such as equipment, machinery or vehicles. The business can be trading as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company. You can apply here

And you are not alone. Adare farm, Kitchen incubators Kerry, Big Adventures Island and Castemine farm are examples of successful applicants

If you need help with your application, let us know, we be happy to help.


Using the power of our growing community, we have negotiated a range of discounts and special offers on vital business services you need to run and grow your business.
Visit Our Webstore

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How to Enter a Foreign Market

Entering a foreign market can be one of the most exciting stages in the development of your business. Selling your product to a foreign market will mean many fresh challenges as well the opportunity to significantly grow your business. Operating in a foreign country can also diversify your business so that you are no longer exposed to the risk of a single market.

Researching Potential Markets

Before you commit to a foreign market it is important that you research it carefully. It is critical that you look at how the legal system, culture and religious beliefs may impact your business. Many products that are successful in their domestic market struggle in foreign markets due to differences in taste and culture. For example, when KFC entered the Chinese market it had to radically change its menu to meet the local culinary tastes. The Chinese KFC menu includes items that few Americans would recognize including egg tarts, shrimp burgers and soy milk drinks. It has even changed its menu to meet certain regional tastes in the country. By adapting to local tastes KFC has grown the number of its restaurants in China to more than 3,000.

Creating A Plan

The next step should be to create an export plan. This plan will help you to identify the potential risks, barriers to entry as well as opportunities that exist in that market. This plan should include a list of your major competitors and potential partners in this market. You should also establish how you intend to market and distribute your products.

Selling Your Products

Identify how you are going to sell your product in the market that you are entering. One of the most common approaches is to use local sales representatives or distributors. Sales representative typically work on commission and use the sales literature and marketing materials that you provide. Foreign distributor purchase the goods directly from you at a significant discount and then resell them for a profit. Alternatively, you may want to sell directly to end users either through establishing your own retail locations or online.

Franchising And Joint Ventures

Franchising and joint ventures are common approaches to entering a foreign market. When you franchise, you provide local businesses with limited intellectual property rights to your products. You also provide processes that must be followed by your franchisees. Joint ventures involve teaming up with a local business. The two businesses share joint management and control of the new business. This enables to you to share costs as well as benefit from the local business knowledge of their market.

Determining Pricing

Pricing can vary significantly depending on the market you are operating in. One of the most straightforward pricing models is the cost-plus approach. This involves basing your pricing on the cost of goods plus the costs associated with importing the product into the foreign market. While this approach is relatively simple, it has the disadvantage of potentially setting prices which are uncompetitive in the local market. In markets where your product is unique and there is high demand you may be able to price higher than in your domestic market. Another option is to attempt to undercut the local pricing in order to gain market share as quickly as possible.

Foreign Language Website

When you enter a foreign market, you will need to develop a new website for that country. This is particularly important if the market that you are entering speaks a different language to your domestic market. Having a new website will allow you to target the marketing messaging, store locations, contact information and product details to that market. Having a foreign language website created is not complicated, compared to some of the other challenges of entering a new market. One good option is to use a global translation service, (for example, Simple Translation), which specializes in translating websites from one language to another.

Entering a foreign market will often involve a sharp learning curve. You may be required to adapt your current processes and systems for the new market. But the benefits of selling into a foreign market invariably justify these challenges. Businesses that enter foreign markets typically become better diversified and more robust organizations with greater potential for rapid growth.

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