While some entrepreneurs have goals and aspirations of building and maintaining a successful local business, some dreams taking their business across the globe. The online world is making it even easier to tap markets beyond the origin country of businesses. Expanding your business beyond boundaries of countries requires a general understanding of varying differences in the way in which businesses are run domestically vs. internationally. Gaining knowledge on these important differences will inadvertently tell you if your business is ready.
Are You Really Ready to Expand?
If you thought that all it took was starting a local store or office in a new country and advertising that you have arrived, you’re in for a rude awakening. Growing your business globally is certainly possible, but you’ll need to understand the dynamics of selling and marketing in another country. Below are some factors to consider and questions to ask yourself to determine if your business is ready to go global.
Got Resources for Local Workers & International Vendors?
Remember when your biggest juggling act was figuring out how to balance life and work as an entrepreneur? Well, now you have to manage running your domestic business while also managing a “startup” in another country. If you’re going to sustain your growth overseas, you’re likely going to need to rely on remote workers and vendors.
Do you have a hiring system in place for employing staff overseas or remotely? Are you equipped with adequate HR software that will allow you to monitor your employees from all locations? Do you have the financial resources, such as local payment gateways and international money transfer options, for payments to vendors and staff? Each country has its own rules regarding handling money and also about foreign exchange remittances. For instance, India has limits on how a foreign exchange can be sent abroad. Learn the rules before venturing into a new country that you are venturing.
Got Customers in the New Country?
While your products or services might be popular in your hometown, this does not mean that it will do as well in another country. Before deciding to expand your business, you need to find out if there is a market for your business. In other words, make sure that your customers exist.
Do You Have a Logistics Strategy?
If you’re selling products, having a logistics strategy is a must. In order to engage in successful trading, you’ll need to make sure that you have clearly and effectively established a strategy for imports and exports. There are logistics partners that you can work with that has experience in your market. They can assist you in developing a strategy and that you’re ready to handle the demands of international business.
Have You Researched Local Culture?
Before you set up shop in another country, it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with their culture. The culture within a country is very important when you’re trying to do business and potentially hire employees. You may need to customize your products to match the tastes of the customers in the area. You may need to alter your employment practices to coincide with regulations and cultural beliefs within the country. Failure to research the culture offend some causing your business to tank faster than it was setup.
These are just a few of the factors you’ll need to take into consideration when deciding to take your business global. There are several things different about conducting business in the US verses other countries, and being prepared for that is the key to being successful. Ensure that you know how to hire the right people, that you have the resources you need to take care of your customers, employees, and vendors, and more importantly that you’re in compliance with international trade laws. Once you’ve done this, you’re well on your way to creating an international success.