Taking your business to the international stage could be one of the most exciting growth cycles you’ll experience. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, however, as under 25% of American businesses succeed abroad. There is lots to consider, from the impact of international fees to unassailable differences in culture. As with all successful growth, the key is research. Spending time on making quality findings concerning financial law, culture and tech will put you in good stead for your business flourish.
Managing Your Expectations
Running a business is exhilarating, and for many owners, growth comes rapidly. Early growth is often an indicator of future success. What you shouldn’t do is dive in headfirst into international growth and start looking for new revenue recklessly. Growing too fast in an unknown market could lead to problems down the road and ultimately cost your business. Instead, keep your rate of progress slow and steady and always look to learn from your growth ideas. Manage your own expectations, and keep them pragmatically low. Keeping your ear to the ground with regional cultures is an important step in achieving this, as it’ll give you key information on how businesses operate abroad.
Sorting Out The Financial Aspect
It’s entirely possible that your business abroad will operate in a wildly different economic climate with confusing regulations to match. Ensure that you have a reliable and consistent money transfer service, preferably through reputable banks. Secondly, you should plan for transfers and cash injections at an opportune time. Small businesses over there lose up to 5% profits due to exchange rate changes. Be in the know financially, as even small losses will build up over time and make it more difficult to continue your growth and develop the business further.
Interpreting Cultural Differences
Business culture is vastly different the world over; so much so, that business consultants have long produced guides to provide a phrasebook to doing business in other cultures. This is critically important when growing your business abroad. You need to know exactly how business is conducted and use that to influence your own management. This way, you can blend your company culture ideas with the local culture values.
Work and business culture varies between countries and this is important when expanding and looking to bring in employees from different host countries. The grade and ability of employee you hire in another country may seem different but be equally as productive – or vice versa. Key to this is clear communication. By regularly updating your employees and encouraging open discourse, you can learn about your expansion in another country without risking progress. In turn, this will boost productivity and the reputation of your business abroad. Culture can be undervalued, but if you can get your finger on the pulse you will benefit.
Utilize Modern Technology
When it comes to the logistical side of your business, digital technology has made it so operations have never been easier. Cloud storage, productivity apps, social media and encrypted messaging make communication with international staff a piece of cake. Be mindful of services that could be blocked in other countries – China’s raft of western site bans comes to mind. It’s also crucial that you deploy a comprehensive cybersecurity package when using digital technology. Unfortunately, cybercrime has become an ever present factor in modern business, and where considerable effort is made online, it becomes only more pronounced.
Consider using business technology to help foster team spirit, too. There are plenty of excellent localized apps that can show you social events and ideas in the local area. You can provide incentives through local business apps, or organize company-wide digital meetups.
International growth is an exciting time, but it can be perilous. Make the most of your efforts by managing your money properly, making an effort with culture, and protecting your data. It’s easier than ever to enable yourself to succeed globally, but it still requires time and effort.