“Your first 50 right steps to enter the Russian food market”.
Step №49 – “Start your food business in Russia remotely
and manage all processes without problems”
The topic of remote operations started to arise when I started working with foreign companies willing to enter the Russian food market. When developing strategies for these companies, I always try to save their money at the beginning, and then to help them make a profit. Russian market is attractive for foreigners, but many are afraid of barriers and laws. Moreover, they do not know how to do business in Russia, how to speak the Russian language, or how to find good customers in Russia. Many foreign companies arenot sure whether to open an office in Russia or not because they are not sure whether their products will be sold or not.In this article I will share how you can avoid a lot of headaches and start your operations in Russia without opening an office or a branch.
#1 Create a website or webpage in Russian.
First of all, make a website in Russian or translate your own. Make it possible to buy your products online. Create a page in Russian social networks and take orders from there. Send from your country by post. Or just start with an Instagram shop, now it is a very popular sales channel in Russia.
Do not worry that the buyers will have to wait until your products get delivered. Russians really appreciate authentic products. In most cases, for Russian people it is a guarantee of the quality of these products, which is very important since there are a lot of fakes in stores at the moment.
The most important thing you will get is feedback from your customers and you will also understand if your products are interesting for Russian customers. It will be 100 times cheaper and better in terms of quality than to order such an analytical report from a marketing agency. Sell your products like this for a few months, feel the market and get to know your customers. The only expenses you will have will be advertising in the Russian Internet and social networks.
#2 Place your products in existing online stores.
Secondly, there are online stores where you can offer your food products. I have already written about e-commerce in the previous step No. 48 (the link to this step is below). The convenience of starting sales with an existing online store is in existing customer traffic, so with right promotions on this site you can attract people to your products and get better revenues.
There is no need to spend money on advertising. In general, you will potentially earn more. However, you will not receive feedback from each client, and will not be able to manage the quality of your products. Of course, the price of your food products will be higher than if you sell yourself since any online platform adds on its profit margin. Whether this price will be interesting to buyers in Russia and how they will react is a big question.
#3 Outsource import/export and logistics.
In order to sell via online stores you need to deliver your products to Russia first. There are companies in Russia that provide a full range of services: they can deliver your food to Russia, do customs clearance, and provide storage services or deliver your products to the warehouse of the online store you have chosen. These companies arrange all necessary certificates and tests for your food products which are necessary for a free sale of your food products in Russia.
#4 Diversify your sales channels.
You can also diversify your sales in Russia. For example, you can import your food products to Russia, put them in a warehouse of your logistics partner, send part of your goods to a warehouse of an online store and leave some amount. After creating your own Instagram shop, you will be able to sell the remaining food products on your own. There are special courier services that can deliver your food products from your logistics partner warehouse to your customers directly or to a post office to send them to any Russian cities. For example, courier services in Moscow amount to 200 to 400 rubles (3-6 usd).
#5 Package your products in Russia.
You can go even further and use another opportunity. You can bring your food product raw materials to Russia (e.g. coffee beans in bulk) to benefit from lower customs fees and package your coffee beans in individual packets in Russian. Your packaging partner can provide you with a large range of packaging options, they can also adapt your label to ensure compliance with Russian regulations. In this case your company will be indicated on the label as the producer of raw materials, but the goods will be packaged in Russia and considered as “made in Russia”.
I guess the advantages of this method are clear to you. You end up with a “Russian” product which you can sell throughout Russia and the countries of the Eurasian Customs Union without restrictions. So, you will be able to immediately start negotiations with Russian retail food chains, which normally do not import food products.
All you need is…
As a result, you do not need a distributor in Russia. You can easily develop the sales of your food products in Russia sitting in your home country where and having only a computer and the Internet. These will be high-quality sales and you will be receiving feedback from your customers in Russia. Only your customers can tell you where you make mistakes and where you do everything right. The modern world is a customer-oriented world and only customers themselves decide what to spend their money on.
I have given just a few examples of how you can develop your business in Russia without physically working or being in Russia. There is a lot more that you can do remotely from your country and it will all work fine. Do you know how I know? Russia has 9 time zones and in order to fly across Russia on a plane one needs to continuously fly for 12 hours. There are 85 regions and 1,113 cities in Russia. When someone n Russia wants to start a business in another region, they do not fly there to open a company, they take a phone and a computer with the Internet to organize and manage everything remotely. Flying is needed only once or twice a year.
Most of you have just thought that it is easier to find a distributor that will sell everything for you. For these companies I have an article called “How to find a buyer in Russia for free?” (a link is below). This article is for those companies that love their food products, that have put all their souls in their food products, that want to be aware of all processes their food products undergo in Russia. This article is for those who care about what their customers say, for those who produce a very good food product, but understand that if you do not have constant improvement and dialogue with customers, competitors will bypass you. This article is for those who care about how their food products look on the Russian market and who understand that in the 21st century technology can resolve a lot of challenges and erase boundaries. And most importantly, this article is for those who can count their money which is spent and earned.
Business Solutions in the Rusian Food Industry
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