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 …

What Is Personal Development?

Dear Tristan,

I'm a bit confused as to what personal development means and what is involved with it. How is personal development different than self-help, self-improvement, human potential or personal growth? Can you help clarify this for me?

Thank you,

Jeanette Merlow


Hi Jeanette,

I agree with you. There's quite a bit of confusion in the field as to what personal development is exactly – and what it is not. I shall do my best at clarifying what personal development is for you.

What is Personal Development?

Personal development is the enhancement of specific life skills which are necessary to facilitate happiness and success in one's personal life. These life skills are the basic building blocks that form all the success or failures that you have in life. Personal development skills become the foundation from which all your achievements in life flow from and it has a direct relationship with winning and life success.

One key distinction between personal development skills and other skills that you might possess is that personal development skills are used 24 hours each day, whereas you may only be using your programming skills eight hours a day in the capacity of your employment. When you talk to someone, you are using personal development skills. What you decide to eat is personal development. When you investigate your feelings – that's personal development. Even managing your sleeping habits belongs in personal development.

Personal development skills are life skills that must be honed in order to reap the benefits of a life worth living. The investment of time in developing yourself personally leads to a peak performing individual who lives a more fulfilling life than those who do not choose to develop themselves.

What Personal Development is Not

Personal development does not involve diagnosing or treating an illness or injury. There seems to be a general confusion in the personal development field concerning what it is and what it is not and since there are so many books at bookstores and libraries that miscatagorize mental illness books into the self-coverage section of the store, let me clarify that point. A key characteristic of someone who wants to practice personal development is that they are generally healthy and normal individuals who are able and willing to move forward in their lives. In other words, they want to become peak-performing individuals.

On the other hand, a person who is not able or willing to move forward in their life and pursue happiness and life success due to past illness, traumas or injuries that prevent them from doing so are in need of treatment or therapy to aid in their recovery. These are individuals who are not performing normally and their goal is to be performing at a normal capacity. In other words, they want to recover.

Personal Development's Many Other Faces

In the scope of my own coaching practice, I view personal development, self-improvement, and personal growth as all the same thing. I view self-help as slightly different than …

How to Create a Personal Leadership Development Plan

Many people think that management and leadership go hand in hand automatically. But just because you are a manager does not mean that you are a leader. Many management techniques are being thrown out the window in favor of leadership skills. But making the transition between manager and leader can be difficult for some. The best way to become an effective leader is by creating a personal leadership development plan.

The first thing that you need to do to create a personal leadership development plan is to understand the difference between management and leadership. While some do not see the difference, others cannot explain it. Quite simply, management is something that you do. It is a career. Leadership is having strength and courage in your convictions, and the ability to see those convictions manifest in reality.

So what are your convictions? You may think that you know what you believe in, but it is important to take a step back and actually list your beliefs and values. There are many assessments available that can help you do this. This important step in creating a personal leadership development plan will likely teach you things about yourself that you yourself did not realize were true. It may seem like a waste of time, but until you know what your convictions are, you cannot manifest them in reality through effective leadership.

Once you have a clear understanding of your convictions, you need to apply them to your organization. Do not look at numbers and people. Look at the overall purpose and mission of the company. Then, narrow your view to your team, and finally yourself. If you do not see your values ​​and beliefs reflected in your actions, the actions of your team, and the actions of the company, then your work is cut out for you.

When creating your personal leadership development plan, first outline your beliefs, ethics, and values. Then, outline the ways that those beliefs, ethics, and values ​​show in your actions within the organization. Are there ways that you need to improve? What support does your team need to obtain personal and organizational success that you have failed to give them? After all, their success is your success. Write down all of your thoughts and ideas for manifesting your convictions in the reality of your team and organization. This is the bare bones of your personal leadership development plan.

Next, do your homework. Talk to your employees, team members, customers, and suppliers to learn what more you can do or be that will assist you in manifesting your convictions and your personal leadership development plan. Sit back and listen to the ideas and feelings of others. This is the only way that you can learn from other perspectives what is needed for organizational or team success. Until you are aware of the changes that need to be made, you will not be able to make any changes for the common good of the organization and your employees.

Remember that …

How To Create An Effective Business Development Strategy

The Business Development Strategy is used to underpin your main Business Plan and essentially it sets out a standard approach for developing new opportunities, either from within existing accounts or by proactively targeting brand new potential accounts and then working to close them.

This document highlights the key issues you should consider prior to compiling your own plan and will hopefully guide you logically through a proven framework.

The key word is 'Strategy', because you are creating a workable and achievable set of objectives in order to exceed your annual target.

Your Starting Point:

The key words are Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why? How?

For example:

Who – are you going to target?

What – do you want to sell them?

Where – are they located?

When – will you approach them?

Which – are the appropriate target personnel?

Why – would they want to meet with you?

How – will you reach them?

If you have conducted regular account reviews with your key accounts during the previous twelve months, you should be aware of any new opportunities that will surface during the next twelve months. You will also, when assessing what percentage of your annual target usually comes from existing accounts, need to review data over the last two or three years. (It is likely that you can apply Pareto ie 80% of your business will probably come from existing accounts and in fact 80% of your total revenue will come from just 20% of your customers / clients)

You will be left with a balance – ie "20% of my business next year will come from new opportunities" – therefore you can then begin to allocate your selling time accordingly.

Ideal Customer Profiling:

Pro-active business development demands that we create an ideal target at the front end – ie an "Ideal Customer Profile." The essential characteristics you will need to consider are:

– Industrial Sector

– Geographical Location (Demographics)

– Size of organizations (Turnover, number of employees etc)

– Financial Trends

– Psychographics – ie Philosophical compatibility

Many strategic sales professionals merely profile their best existing clients and try to replicate them – there's nothing wrong with doing this but we should always remember that we are seeking an IDEAL and we can always improve on what we already have.

'New' Opportunities From Within 'Old' Accounts:

Because it costs approximately ten times as much, to first locate and then sell to a new customer as it does an existing one (although these costs are rarely reflected in the cost of sales), it is essential that we fully develop our existing accounts working upwards, downwards and sideways, thus making the most of the (hopefully) excellent reputation we have developed already.

Most corporate accounts have several divisions, departments, sites, even country offices and you must satisfy yourself that you have exhausted every possible avenue. Don't be afraid to ask the question " Who else should I be talking to in your organization"?

This is an extract from my FREE