Thanks to the development of eCommerce, it’s never been easier for those seeking the nomadic lifestyle to structure their business in a way that allow them to travel and to sell goods across the globe.
Sales have progressed from trekking the Silk road to get goods from Thailand to Italy. These days, logistics solutions can deliver a bouquet of fresh flowers, from a manufacturer in Connecticut to a customer in a Paradise Island!
But this ease of delivery also has its share of hoops to jump through.
Sellers find they have to make more decisions for their business than they envisaged. Among other things, they have to decide on the best locations for their warehouses, or whether to even fulfill orders straight from the manufacturer.
Having to choose from many options leads to decision paralysis among sellers, causing some to decline any cross-border selling. But with the cross-border opportunity estimated at $60 – 100 billion, that doesn’t seem to be a smart business decision.
Moreover, when you structure your business to fit your lifestyle–in this case a lifestyle of travel–you can gain advantages by understanding the locations you are traveling in and their market needs; the eyes of the traveling soul allow for increased marketplace opportunities and connections around the world.
Understanding Global Logistics and Travel go Hand in Hand
Taking advantage of the opportunity presented by globalization, requires understanding how international logistics works.
As a location independent entrepreneur, you are at an advantage to having clarity on this compared to your homebound competitors.
The problem is many sellers are stuck in their local understanding of logistics as being “the movement of goods from one place to another”.
For a business with plans to sell overseas, it can be significantly more than that:
Global logistics encompasses the sourcing of suppliers, finding most efficient ways to get the SKUs to a storage facility, how it is packaged to survive international travel, how it will get to the paying customer etc. On a global scale, you also have to contend with the different rules regarding transportation, customs and tariffs in every country.
It’s fair to say global logistics can be quite a complicated process.
The Global Supply Chain
Instead of sellers trying to focus on the 1,001 different elements they have to get right, they can do better by channeling their efforts towards creating an effective global supply chain.
In recent years, more manufacturers are setting up foreign factories to benefit from tariff and trade concessions, low cost labor, reduced logistics costs etc.
For smaller companies, this is a gateway to creating global collaborations that will be mutually beneficial. In a bid to get to market faster, more companies are splitting their supply chain across continents.
Take storage for example, if you have enough contacts and suppliers internationally, you can reduce the amount of stock you have to hold. This translates into cost savings for storage and transport.
A global supply chain also makes securing of almost any item easier, after all it is being produced somewhere in the world. And, as you travel with an eye for business opportunities, you’ll be sure to encounter products and manufacturers in countries you pass through.
Developing a global supply chain has huge benefits for any sized business.
Apart from time and cost savings, here are some more advantages:
- Due to the time differences across countries, the global supply chain operates on a 24/7 basis. The chain is constantly on the move, working to meet all your supply chain requirements.
- Operating a global supply chain brings new opportunities for the markets. For example, if you source goods from China and store them in Hong Kong, it is feasible that you may find other customers in other parts of Asia. Since you already have established sources in the region, selling to customers here will be done at a lower cost.
- The global supply chain allows you ‘borrow’ expertise from a varied number of other businesses. Not everyone runs their business exactly like you; by studying their models, you can learn new production, distribution or marketing methods, from others.
- Having a global supply chain increases your chances of maintaining sales, even if there is an economic downturn in some other markets.
By integrating a global supply chain into your remotely structured eCommerce business, you’ll find that the elements of global logistics that you need to get right, seem to fall into place.
Remember the supply chain is working around the clock, meaning your goods are moved from stage to stage efficiently.
Developing a global supply chain that works in your industry involves an in-depth analysis of all the moving parts of your supply chain.
- Are your products manufactured in Asia or in Northern America?
- Will you require special packaging for particular SKUs?
Answer these and other critical questions and you’ll be close to developing a supply chain that can handle all your logistics needs and allow you peace of mind to be able to build the foundations of an income stream that allows you the freedom and flexibility to operate it from anywhere.
- Are you ready to increase sales and profits by reducing your dependence on the local economy?
- Are you ready to expand your businesses and enter into new markets?
- Are you running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and need to easily track deliveries to your backers using Floship and a campaign management tool like Backerkit?
If you are running a product based business, doing crowdfunding or otherwise need an eCommerce fulfillment partner that simplifies your operations by shipping globally from one fulfillment hub at near domestic rates, check out Floship and see how they can help you navigate the global supply chain.