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How a small company, for example, from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to enter foreign markets
In early March, the acceptance of applications for the regional stage of the "Best Exporter of the Year" competition was completed. Small, medium and large businesses will - each in its own category - fight for victory. Anastasia Molokova, director of the Khabarovsk Krai Export Support Center and Ilya Sychev, Deputy Director of the Khabarovsk Krai Export Support Center, will talk about how to become one of the successful exporters.
- Anastasia, Ilya, we have large enterprises, like Gazprom or the Sukhoi concern, which traditionally feel confident in foreign markets, their supply volumes are estimated at billions of rubles. What should small and small businesses do among such giants?
“Prejudice speaks in you. In the era of the development of e-commerce, which has practically erased the boundaries, you need to seriously think about diversifying sales markets, - Anastasia Molokova believes. - It doesn't matter what you make - fish delicacies, handmade piece goods or wedding dresses. There is a consumer, you just need to reach him.
- To make it easier for an entrepreneur to take the first steps on his export path, there is a network of Export Support Centers in Russia with the head organization Russian Export Center. The Khabarovsk Territory also has its own Center, - explains Ilya Sychev. - Both active and novice exporters can get support. And those who are just thinking about export activities can apply for an expert assessment of the readiness of a business to enter foreign markets.
- Surely it is quite expensive or there are some other pitfalls.
- There are no pitfalls, any legally operating entrepreneur can contact us for help. CPE services are free of charge, with the exception of five services. For example, a marketing research of a sales market of interest is carried out on co-financing terms. The fact is that the Centers are financed from the state treasury, you yourself understand that budget money should be spent efficiently, ”continues Ilya Sychev. “We provide these five services on a co-financing basis for purely psychological reasons. Entrepreneurs are very sensitive to spending and, if they have already invested money in something, they will not want it to be wasted.
- Let's take a closer look at free services.
- It would be more correct to start with the first steps of the exporting company. So, you feel confident in the domestic market or you have a product in which the interest in the foreign market is higher than that of the domestic consumer. You want to expand your sales area - you come to us, - says Anastasia Molokova. - The Center's experts help to create an export profile of the company, determine the target audience of the product, build logistics, and develop commercial proposals. Help with finding partners in other countries. By the way, an important aspect of the work is exhibition activities. Yes, during the coronavirus period, it was practically not conducted, but nothing, including epidemics, lasts forever. If not this year, then in a year or two, international business events will again be held.
- The coronavirus has undoubtedly affected all areas of our lives. Among the positive consequences, I would note the flourishing of electronic platforms, - says Ilya Sychev. - For example, training has moved to an online format. That is, being in Ayan or Bikin, you can not only hear the lecture of the famous coach live, but also ask him questions. Exporter training is another large layer of the Center's work. CPE clients attend webinars with federal and world-class experts in various areas - from customs to marketing. There are whole online seminars - hours-long marathons, pumping the exporter's skills from "beginner" to "experienced user" level. There are acceleration programs designed for those who are like fish in water in the domestic market and want to conquer the rest of the world. A personal trainer is assigned to such a company, who for three months every day sets before the "athlete" various real tasks, leading him to achieve his goal.
- The Export Support Center is a friend and mentor who will advise and help. But the responsibility for the success of the business still rests with its owner. We do not do all the work for the company - we teach how to do this work, - Anastasia Molokova notes. - The highest praise for us is to see how yesterday's student becomes a confident exporter.
- Please provide specific “success stories”, since we started with a small business, let's continue talking about it.
- The White Soft company renders services for the development and maintenance of software to a large Japanese corporation. The Hotlead company provides IP-telephony services to partners located in Southeast Asia. In the near future, it is planned to conclude an export contract with Canadian partners, - Ilya lists. - Lira, a Google partner, provides companies from the Czech Republic, Great Britain and the United States with services for the creation and maintenance of online advertising on Facebook and Google.
- And all of them are definitely from the Khabarovsk Territory?
- Exactly. There is the Far Eastern Peat Company, which regularly ships fuel briquettes and peat-bacterial substrate to the Republic of Korea. PVC cling film is supplied to the CIS countries by Novopak, continues Anastasia. - The trade turnover with the PRC in the food industry is growing.
- Surely these are firms with a fairly serious turnover. And a small manufacturer, say, a hand-made master, can become an exporter?
- Quite. Ilya mentioned that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the development of online commerce. And the companies of the Khabarovsk Territory did not fail to take advantage of this, - Anastasia answers. - By the way, the Export Support Center helps to promote goods on electronic platforms. As part of the promotion, we develop an advertising strategy, help to highlight the product among hundreds of others. Our fellow countrymen are already represented on the Alibaba.com site. The Goliath company, using the promising channels of the international B2C platform Etsy.com, actively sells nail stickers in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Germany and other EU countries.
- Do you help companies to resolve customs issues? Sending an item from one country to another is hardly an easy thing, even if it is a nail sticker.
- Of course, we help, we have experts in the field of customs who can advise on various issues. At the same time, the legislation meets the manufacturer halfway. Good prospects for the export of goods through the B2C scheme have opened up thanks to the simplified procedure for processing export shipments, explains Ilya. - The bottom line is that enterprises that operate under a simplified taxation system, when registering exported goods, can use documents used by the Universal Postal Union as a declaration. Customs procedures will be carried out on the basis of one document (postal declaration CN23), which eliminates the need to fill in a separate customs declaration for goods.
- At the very beginning of our conversation, we mentioned the competition "The Best Exporter of the Year 2020". Why should an enterprise participate in it?
- The competition is a pleasant and useful bonus for companies successfully conducting foreign trade activities. The winners receive certificates and prizes, but not those that are gathering dust on the shelf, - says Ilya Sychev. - It can be free participation in training programs, for example, foreign language courses for employees, a certificate for an advertising campaign, or something else, but also useful.
- There is another unobvious plus for the winner of the "Best Exporter of the Year" competition - an increase in his reputation in the eyes of potential partners. The business image of the company is especially important when it comes to foreign trade activities, - Anastasia Molokova supports. - It happens that, even being in the same city, it is not easy for companies to inquire about each other. What to say about another country. The certificate of the winner of the competition is a kind of credential, a document confirming the integrity of the business, its competitive advantage.
- What would you say to an entrepreneur who is thinking about working for foreign markets, but still has doubts?
- Going to export is a logical, natural stage in the development of a stable business. In addition to additional profit, foreign trade activity gives the company more confidence in the future: by supplying goods to domestic and foreign consumers, the entrepreneur insures himself against market fluctuations, - Anastasia Molokova is sure. - The waves of world crises are diverging gradually, the decline in consumer demand in one state can be compensated for by a stable position in the market of another. Plus, in our country, the exporter enjoys government support. Now that you know all this, ask yourself: why aren't you working for export yet?
The "Best Exporter of the Year" competition is held in several nominations.
Nominations for SMEs:
- “Exporter of the Year in the Industry”;
- "Exporter of the Year in the Agro-Industrial Complex";
- "Exporter of the Year in the Service Sector";
- "Exporter of the Year in the Field of High Technologies";
- "Trader of the Year";
- "Breakthrough of the Year"
Nominations for large business:
- “Exporter of the Year in the Industry”;
- "New Geography".
The tender documentation, as well as everything about services for beginners and existing exporters, can be found on the website of the Khabarovsk Territory Export Support Center. Inquiries by phone 8 (4212) 35-84-45, firstname.lastname@example.org.