Trade Finance As A Business Development Strategy

Without trade finance, there wouldn’t be Indian spices, clothes, or jewelry in the United States. Or Apple’s iPhones in China, much less any other international product at any respectable distance from its origin.

In fact, according to Investopedia, the World Trade Organization (WTO) estimates that international world trade has expanded 80%-90% thanks to trade finance.

For this to continue, companies need to include trade finance in their business development strategies.

How do you do that? Learn how you can incorporate trade finance into your business development strategy.

Incorporate Inland Trade Finance in Market Penetration and Market Development

Market penetration and market development are key parts of a business development strategy. Market development involves selling more of your service or product to repeat customers.

While market penetration is about expanding your product or service to other cities and provinces, it can involve inland trade finance. As you may have to renegotiate local and provincial trade deals.

For instance, let’s say you sell jewelry. A business from a neighboring city may purchase your jewelry and sell it to its customers.

You have a long history with this client. And know that your product is selling quickly in your customers’ shop. In which case, you could propose selling the client more jewelry for a bulk price.

After negotiating, the client agrees. However, despite the long, positive history you’ve had with the client, the client may not feel comfortable paying you before you export the jewelry.

This is where a trade financier or banking institution comes in, providing a letter of credit promising that you will export the jewelry upon payment.

Consider the Internet and Brick-and-Mortar Stores

If you’re already selling more of your product or service to clients, perhaps it’s time to branch out to another channel such as the Internet?

If you run a successful e-commerce store, maybe it’s time to start a brick-and-mortar store as well?

That way, your customers have more options where to buy your products.

Especially when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, trade finance can help you secure new import and export trade deals-especially when there are multiple currencies involved.

Creating a New Product or Service for Repeat and New Customers

With repeat customers, you’re doubling the number of products the repeat client is importing.

And, with new clients, your new product or service will expand your client base. It’s important that you first create new products for your repeat customers before jumping to new customers, as it involves more risk.

Again, trade finance can help cultivate more trust during this period of growth. Since trade financiers or banking institutions can create letters of credit, laying out the terms the importer and exporters must follow.

Final Thoughts About Your Business Development Strategy

Know that growth doesn’t happen in a day; it’s harder for businesses to jump from market penetration to supplying new products to new clients.

This is why we recommend that you approach growth slowly. However, know that trade finance may help increase the number of clients you trade with, no matter where they are.

What’s your take on trade finance? How has it helped your business? Share your thoughts, comments and responses with us.

Your Business Development Strategy – Refine Your Plan

So you had a good year last year, that’s a good thing. What do you think was missing that kept it from being a great year? In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins says “Good is the enemy of Great”. Oh great you say, it isn’t enough that I had a good year, now someone wants me to be perfect. No, not perfect, just great! And why not, after all when you started your Business you likely had a vision or dream about how you were going to do things differently, bigger, better, faster than anybody else. You were going to make a difference, innovate and dominate, leave a legacy that would live long after you left the scene.

What will become abundantly clear when you are growing your company is that the work will be hard and much of your time will be sacrificed to make it happen. The learning curve will be very steep at times, but the reward will be sweet and worth every moment you have to wait. For those of you that think success will happen overnight, you’re probably better off buying lottery tickets, the odds are better. The concepts of business development are not just some irrelevant abstract theory, they are essential to the future success of your business.

The truth is, most Businesses are quite simple to operate, just not easy to do. Almost every Business operates on the same model of gathering customers through various marketing strategies and then having an effective conversion process or sales system to create a new customer. The next step is to implement customer service systems to serve them well, keep them coming back and become raving fans for life. We must also have an effective Human Resources division to select, hire and train our personnel to perform the duties and responsibilities of the various positions. All of these areas affect your business development and management.

Ideally, with a fully executed Business Development Plan, we would have a policy or procedure for every operating component of our Business, a system that would ensure smooth operations. A system that would allow the Business to operate with or without you being there. Finally, we must understand our financials, manage our fixed and variable costs and keep the cash flowing. All of this of course hinges on one critical component. That component is your leadership. You must create a culture that rewards and empowers your team to be their very best and to have them constantly seeking ways to do better than before. All of this must be done while juggling your family life, personal interests and maintaining excellent health!

Simple enough right? Just not that easy to do! So where do you start on this road to greatness? The question our clients hear us ask all the time is “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time!” That first bit is creating your business development plan.

So in the interest of greatness, take a few minutes and do the exercise below. This is the first step in forming your strategy for Business Development.

The Work/Career Wheel

Draw a circle on a piece of paper and divide it into eight sections, like a large pizza. On the outside of the wheel above each slice, write the following points; Marketing & Sales Processes, Customer Service Strategies, Relationship with Employees; Understand Your Financials, Systematization of Business, Organization & Time Management, Leadership & Vision and Work/Life Balance. These represent the most common ares of business development.

For each section of the Work/Career Wheel, score your sense of satisfaction on a scale of 1-10 (10 = very satisfied). If an area doesn’t apply, replace it with a more appropriate label. Once you have scored all the sections, identify the top three areas that you would like to target. Ask yourself the question “if my current score is ____ in this area, what would a 10 look like?”

I hope this has been revealing and at the same time encouraging that you can build a successful Business with an effective business development strategy. At the very least,set aside 1-2 hours each week to work on your Business in the areas you have identified as priorities to help improve your Small Business Management.

Personal Development Tips – 3 Personal Development Strategies

How many personal development books have you seen at your local bookstore? If it’s a standard retail chain, there are no doubt hundreds of the books spanning wall to wall in the psychology and self-help section, each making use of different personal development strategies and styles.

While to many people this simply suggests a massive amount of ineffective methods, it actually means the exact opposite.

The mind is highly dynamic, and as a result many different personal development strategies can produce results. These three are some of my favorites, all of which produce results and are easy to apply.

#1: Take the stoic approach to personal development.

In life, there are some things that are simply out of our control. All too often these situations and circumstances end up dominating our lives, influencing our decisions, and changing the way we approach events and situations.

By ignoring any decisions that are out of our control we can dedicate more time to those that truly matter, spend more of our minds on the important changes and put an end to worrying about events that are completely external to us.

#2: Treat every event individually.

It’s easy to rationalize false events when you give them years of context and purpose. The problem is that events often happen in isolation, and applying these false contexts to them simply pushes us further away from truly understanding them.

In order to make the most of each life change and event, view it in isolation and don’t assign a false narrative or context to it.

#3: Experiment with different personal development strategies.

Possibly the greatest thing about this massive variety in the domain of self help is that we have access to a huge number of different strategies and approaches.

If one isn’t working for you, move on to the next. Once you’ve found something that works, stick with it. It’s only through experimentation that we find what truly works for us, and personal development is no different than any other domain.