Everything is foreign as a foreigner
The U.S. retail market has been gaining traction lately especially with lower gas prices, but if you`re new to the retail scene or operating in a different country it can be expensive and complicated to transition into the U.S.
A lot of foreign manufacturers that I`ve spoken with would like to transition their product reach to be more integrated with the U.S. retail market but claim they don`t have the capacity, employees, or knowledge to do so. Many have a few sales reps located in the U.S. but more often than not these sales reps fail to thrive (which isn`t necessarily their fault).
In this article I`ll be discussing some challenges of being a foreign, product-based business trying to get into the U.S. as well as why Retailbound is the perfect solution.
Some challenges include:
- Customer service (especially in English)
- Distribution management and training
- Logistics and supply chains
- Sales materials
- Trade show success
- Expenses involved with hiring full-time employees
Time is money, and money is time
One of the biggest challenges a small or even mid-sized manufacturer can face is operating on a lean budget. When you`re seeking to expand into new territory, it becomes even more difficult to remain lean.
Many foreign or new manufacturers need to take time to learn, plan, and execute their retail marketing and sales strategy, and as we all know…time is money. Even if you`re relatively confident in your ability to develop an effective strategy, managing and executing it can be a significant burden on your attention and valuable time.
With a company like Retailbound, all of the professional planning, management, and execution is done for you at a pittance of what it would normally cost and with zero waste of time to learn the retail environment.
Don`t just throw money and pray…
As I said before, many small manufacturers will hire out a few sales reps to try and gain some ground for their product, but ultimately unless these sales reps have years of experience working with similar products, it will be a waste of money.
This strategy is like buying newspaper ads for the vision impaired…it just doesn`t make any sense.
Correct retail marketing strategies coupled with experienced industry-specific salespeople is where you should start. If you can combine these aspects together then it will be easier to manage and communication between the two will be more effective.
The same reasoning goes with picking out distributors for your product. Lot`s of manufacturers will try and put their products with anyone that will accept them; however, often these distributors do a poor job selling and staying up-to-date on your products` features and details.
Retailbound is partnered with distributors and sales reps that effectively and consistently sell by having sales information and materials ready and updated, and Retailbound also manages them saving lots of time.
Trade Shows – Worth It?
Trade shows are a well-known place for manufacturers to have a chance at exposing their products to potential buyers. If you`re new or operating outside the U.S., these opportunities can be difficult to capitalize on. These shows can seem relatively expensive and nerve-racking to the inexperienced.
Lots of manufacturers opt out of trade shows because spending a few thousand dollars seems like a far-reaching gamble, but when you have experts representing your products it can pay exponential dividends.
Rather than hiring a few sales reps to sporadically call up potential buyers, attending a trade show is a much more targeted means to reach buyers that are currently looking for what you have to offer.