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Trade Routes: International Markets the Right Way
By: Michael Wynne
Posted: August 7, 2007, from the August 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Whenever possible, I recommend people visit the countries in order to determine the best way to offer their products and services to the consumers of that market. There is no substitute for being hands-on in determining the true potential of a market.
You can never be sure how a product is being used until you take a first-hand account. To illustrate, in World War II, American forces worked to build the Burma Road to connect India with China. A young American army engineer watched native laborers shovel dirt into baskets, load the baskets on their heads, walk to the side of the mountain and dump the dirt. The engineer immediately realized that wheelbarrows would expedite the work. A thousand wheelbarrows were flown in and demonstrated. Later, the engineer decided to see how much progress was being made. He watched the laborers shovel dirt into the wheelbarrows, place the wheelbarrows on their heads, walk to the side of the mountain and dump the dirt.
Take a good look at how your is product being used. Is it being used the right way? Have foreign users come up with new and interesting ways of using it? Did you enter the right countries and markets? Did you use the right entry strategy? Are you fully benefiting from the potential of the market? You could, and probably should, be generating considerably more revenue.