How to Save Your Import/Export Business from Covid in 3 Steps
It will be impossible to adequately assess the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and international trade. The possibility is low until we know how much money will be lost and how long the pandemic will last.
Even while we initially expected the pandemic to have a short-term impact on supply chains, the results are different. We now know that a sustained economic slowdown will result in more severe supply chain challenges. Especially in Asia and other places in the medium and long run.
While COVID-19 is unusual, examining how the trade community responded to the 2008 recession and 9/11 can provide some important lessons for dealing with the current situation.
Here’s how to keep your import/export business running even if the worldwide pandemic strikes:
1. Increase Distant Collaboration And Productivity By Utilizing Technology.
In daily operations, many exporters are already utilizing the latest web-based plus mobile collaboration and productivity solutions. If you and your team are already familiar with such technologies in an office setting, the shift to remote work will be considerably smoother.
But make sure you’re getting the most out of your technology. It’s not uncommon for programs or technologies to only be used for a small portion of their potential. To learn how to use all of the features, bells, and whistles, read the handbook or watch an online lesson.
There’s good news if you haven’t tried these options yet. The majority of the most popular tools are free or come with a free trial. They’re also simple to use; all you need is an internet connection and a computer to use them.
- Video conferencing: Using a video-conferencing tool to have distant meetings is a terrific way to cooperate and connect on a deeper level. Apple’s FaceTime, Skype, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are just a few of the video conferencing choices available.
- Cloud Storage: Consider using cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox or Google Drive to upload and share documents and files so that your entire team has easy access to them.
- Team Messaging Apps: When you can’t stroll over to a colleague’s desk to communicate, use team messaging apps like Slack. Many of the most popular video-conferencing programs also incorporate texting features.
- Project management: Wrike, Basecamp, and Asana are examples of web-based project management solutions. They can help remote workers simplify and increase team collaboration.
2. For The Most Up-to-date Information, Consult Reputable Online Sources.
In these times of rapid change, when governments are enacting new rules and regulations almost daily, it is up to you to arm yourself with the most up-to-date information. It is important in order to safeguard your company’s interests and do everything possible to suit your customers’ expectations.
There are a plethora of internet resources that provide up-to-date information about COVID-19 and its global implications. WHO is the go-to source for information on the virus’s spread in specific nations where you export your goods and services. Its interactive dashboard shows the current status of COVID-19 in every country that is currently reporting cases.
If you’re selling to the US, as many exporters from all across the world do, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is another reliable source. The provided information on the virus’s progress south of the border and its ramifications for your business. The International Trade Administration and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are two other important organizations when it comes to monitoring developments affecting your exports.
Consult the applicable country-specific websites for border services, chambers of commerce, trade associations, etc. in case you are exporting to foreign markets.
3. Increase Your Export Market Communication.
While there is a multitude of information available online, you must interact with your network on the ground in each export market. This is crucial to gain a more complete picture of what’s going on.
For example, you’ll need to know how the pandemic is affecting demand in your target markets for your products or services. It’s also crucial to understand any new border rules that may prevent your products from reaching the market.
On the plus side, as a result of the pandemic, your contacts may be aware of new prospects for your eco-friendly products or regulatory changes that could help your sales. For example, the United States has already established tariff exemptions for a number of medical equipment and associated products that are now in great demand.
Utilize your relationships and increase communication with your trustworthy business partners such as Matchsourcing. It is very important to gain access to this level of information such as customs brokers, freight forwarders, importers, distributors, supply chain and channel partners, as well as customers for their perspectives.
Face-to-face meetings are nearly impossible due to travel limitations, thus electronic communication is the only choice. Communicate with your network as often as possible. This will help you to ensure you’re doing everything you can to limit the impact of COVID-19 on your exports. Whether it’s via email, phone, video conference, or any of the other methods your internal team has embraced for remote working.
Wrapping It Up
While running an import-export firm in the midst of a global pandemic may appear tough at first, keep in mind that the pandemic will not last permanently. Any efforts you take today to increase capacity to operate your business will help you become more collaborative and productive in the long run. Not only this but also more prepared for future business issues, no matter what the situation is.
We hope these three major steps will help you get the missing motivation for your business continuation. Remember, nothing lasts forever, nor will this pandemic be!