We help small businesses to exports through innovative Export Clusters
Blueschild Consulting export facilitators of small businesses
Many small companies produce great products consumers are eager for. And though, they have tremendous barriers to export. Why is that?
The explanation is that there are systemic barriers in the markets, which a small company alone cannot overcome, such as:
- buyers may be interested in your products, but they are not willing to manage hundreds of small suppliers day by day
- for consultants and representatives your business volume is too small to support you in your export development
- for small quantities the logistic costs are very high. In consequence product prices become non-competitive
- export development requires budgets a small business cannot afford
In consequence, small producers even if they offer great products have no chance to develop their exports.
Innovative solution for small businesses: Export Cluster
For small businesses there is one innovative solution to overcome barriers in exports: to create and participate with other similar companies in clusters. A export cluster is about generating new business power and overcoming systemic barriers by joining forces of many small companies. At Blueschild Consulting we support the design, development, management and operation of innovative export clusters.
Brand of Brands
The cluster concept offers an export solution to small businesses and simultaneously has the potential to evolve into a business in its own right, serving as a ‚Brand of Brands.‘ To realize this, the cluster integrates into the supply chain, acting as a facilitator for both market sides: producers and buyers.
As mentioned, buyers are not willing to manage a huge number of small producers as the handling is very complex and not profitable. An export cluster may be the solution, but it means that it takes over the operational complexity. This complexity cannot be managed „manually“, but requires innovative digitalization of the complete operation.
How to develop a business cluster
For starting a cluster the overall concept has to be defined first. The concept includes product assortment, profile of cluster members, business model and the operation model.
The product assortment of an export cluster need to be consistent and have a clear positioning.
Cluster members profile
For developing a cluster, profile of members should be clear. There need to be criteria in place what companies can become members and at the same time which companies cannot be accepted as members.
Cluster business model
An important question is how the cluster will operate in the market. There are two main options:
- the business cluster is promoting its members, but each member sells its products separately to buyers. In this case the cluster aims to generate leads, but leaves sales to its members.
- the cluster becomes a business entity and acts as reseller of the products of its members
The first option is quite weak, as buyers at the end have to deal again with many small entities.
Cluster budget & business plan
A business cluster to generate business for its members needs have a budget for marketing business development and operation. This budget has to be financed by its members. The advantage is that costs are shared. As more members a cluster has, as lower the costs for each member.
Cluster operation model
Once an export cluster has been setup, it needs to be efficiently operated. This means an operation concept and an operation team have to be in place.