Expanding your business internationally
New customers are the backbone for growth in business, so expanding internationally simply makes sense. Taking the leap across international boundaries will allow a whole new country of potential clients to gain access to your product. How can thinking globally expand the reach of your product?
What factors can affect launching a business internationally?
The possibilities offered by global opportunities are obviously attractive, but there are factors thatneed to be considered before you take the leap. First, where are you going to start your expansion? Different countries may offer more incentives than others for your business. This is where market research is so crucial. Spend time researching the country you are considering for your expansion. Forbes has a list of the top countries in the world for business opportunities.
Other practical factors include the financial and logistical costs of expansion – in terms of materials, what do you have that you can use, and what will you need to acquire to proceed? There are also personnel costs to consider. Evaluate the skills among your employees and decide if they will cope with the increased demands of international business. Another decision is whether to do everything in-house or to outsource.Do you have staff fluent in the language of your new country, or will you need to use a translator service? Do you need to source the right partners in the new country?
Finding your new customers
You know they are there, but how can you get the attention of new customers for your business?For many reasons, having a social media presence is now essential for all modern businesses,and one of the main benefits is the power it gives companies to attract new customers. Acquisition marketing maximizes the impact of social media, so it’s a good idea to research the best strategies for acquisition marketing when you are formulating a plan to find your customers.
International compliance and regulatory issues
Utilize local knowledge: a local expert will help clarify the different tax codes, financial systems, business regulations, employment laws and packaging standards in different countries. Check for other regulatory issues that might affect your business sector. For example, a European pharmaceutical company looking to do business in China will need to be aware of regulations surrounding China clinical research. A local company will be able to provide clarification in this regard.
Language and cultural differences may also play a factor. Specifically,take into consideration the cost of lawyers and translation services as well as the importance of local knowledge in order to capture cultural nuances. It is also important that the people who will deal with your overseas business partners and new customers are local to that country. The people on the ground will need in-depth knowledge of how your business should operate in order to be successful in this new country. Considered preparation is essential and working together with a host partner will make your transition smoother.
Could you choose China? China has always been seen as a tough market to crack, but they are opening their doors, and working with companies over there can be lucrative. The differences in language and culture may make it feel daunting, but partnering up with a local company that has the necessary knowledge, expertise and infrastructure to make your international expansion work can help take away some of the potential problems.
Expanding your business internationally will be challenging, but there is sound advice available to help ease the process, and with the right planning, it will definitely be worthwhile. With the right preparation, your company will boom in the global market.