How Global Trade Can Support Growth in Periods of Uncertainty

Global Trade

During periods of global economic unpredictability, it’s natural for businesses to assume that their safest strategy is to shift their focus to domestic opportunities and avoid selling internationally. However, even in uncertain times, when correctly prepared, selling globally could be a solution for stable growth. Here are some ways to set your business up for success globally, particularly in times of economic unpredictability:

  • Diversify revenue sources globally
  • Be aware of new market opportunities arising in changing economies
  • Be known as a stable and reliable vendor

Global sales can provide both a buffer against economic disruption and can generate new opportunities for growth.

Diversify revenue streams

Exporting businesses are more resilient for many reasons, most importantly though is diversification among buyers, regions and countries.

It’s no secret that markets experience economic cycles. As such, different countries, world regions, industries and currencies are prone to fluctuation over time. Sometimes that fluctuation is isolated and sometimes it’s relative to other markets or segments. Companies that diversify their revenue with sales into different markets, as well as across industries, often experience cycles differently. Meaning, even if the company is selling in one market facing an economic downturn, the company can still be stable because of sales in thriving economic regions.

Explore new growth opportunities

During economic uncertainty, many businesses will be impacted, and they’ll face challenges, such as disrupted supply chains. When supply chains are disrupted, companies will need to find alternative vendors for key products and services. For some U.S. businesses, this disruption could open the door if the goods or services they provide are now in higher demand in disrupted markets. U.S. companies also have a leg up because buyers see value in “Made in America” products and services, suggesting high quality and stability from the world’s largest market.

Proactively diversifying revenue streams will position businesses to fulfill the needs coming from disrupted supply chains. Not only are these companies already in other global markets, possibly even the ones with the new needs, but these businesses are likely economically secure and are considered trusted suppliers.

Create awareness as a trusted vendor before economic challenges

Building resilience through market diversification and being prepared to capture new market opportunities coming from economic disruption are important for weathering global business storms, but neither can be done effectively if buyers can’t find you or don’t trust your stability.

One way to get in front of global buyers is to proactively visit markets and meet with potential customers, especially when the economy is strong. Government assistance programs are a great way to do this. For example, the International Trade Administration’s Foreign Commercial Service Gold Key program arranges meetings with qualified buyers and coordinates local transportation and interpreters for U.S. companies. Traveling to new markets brings the invaluable opportunity to network with buyers in person. It also helps U.S. businesses understand the needs and business landscape in new regions to more thoughtfully connect with customers, especially in turmoil-filled times.

In addition to visiting international regions, savvy companies use the power of the internet to target buyers interested in their products or services anywhere in the world. Companies should pay attention to where their website traffic is coming from and how the trends change. This data can indicate a region in the world with growing interest in the product or service being offered. By monitoring website traffic and staying on top of changing global demand, companies can design digital marketing strategies to reach relevant international buyers.

Travelling to new global regions and designing targeted marketing campaigns helps to generate interest during strong business cycles – when companies are investing, growing and expanding. It also positively positions businesses when companies are searching for alternative, quality and stable vendors to manage disruption.

Greater resilience through stronger business

Political conflict and unpredictable global economies can concern business owners, but there are ways to be prepared and sometimes even grow in uncertain times.

Ultimately, diversifying revenue streams from markets around the world is a good strategy for business resilience. Market diversification helps weather economic turmoil in certain regions by also having revenue come from prosperous economies. Sometimes in fluctuating economies, healthy businesses can gain new customers when supply chains are disrupted because buyers will seek new stable sources for their goods and services. Businesses can reach these new buyers by reviewing their website traffic and inquiries to see which global markets have shown interest in their products or services, indicating possibilities for further global growth.

As with any new business strategy, selling globally comes with risks, but also with a lot of reward in challenging economic times.

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