The global marketplace allures the most ambitious companies on the planet. Their influence reaches across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and their profits reflect their broad customer/client base. However, when global juggernauts of the business world were new, they weighed some of the same issues you are now. However, with the advance of the internet and technology, there is more to consider than ever before. Here are the most monumental factors to consider before you take your company global.
It seems obvious to some, but languages are one of the biggest hurdles when a global transition takes place. Furthermore, language and cultural norms, beliefs, customs, etc, are inexorably linked. The way business ethics are handled and deals are struck are different in every culture and so every country you expand to. In terms of e-commerce, its proven that customers are more likely to make purchases when languages are accurately translated and all prices are in local currency. A flexible and multilingual IT department will be essential.
As you look for the global spotlight, you’ll need to expand your own search for the best and most motivated individuals in the workforce. Companies such as Amway recognized there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all model for individual income. That’s why companies have founded their business on a concept that meets individuals where they are and allows them to supplement their own income with a low-cost, low-risk direct sales company. While many direct sales companies have been labeled as pyramid schemes, some companies instead create opportunity for Independent Business Owners to grow and succeed with the support of an established company. Consider this before global expansion: providing employees with flexibility will attract and retain top talent otherwise unavailable to your company.
What type of product or service does your company offer and what is the availability of competitors in the world markets you plan expansion in? If a local company creates a similar and reliable product for a cheaper price, your venture in the market will likely be short-lived. Also, consider the demand for the product or service your company specializes in. If there is no demand for the item or service, it is a waste of time and resources. Cultural differences can lead to a perceived lack of need for a product or service even when your company makes a determination that it is a high yield market for your company. In these instances, connect with locals in each area and gain insight into how your product or service will be received by those who would use them most.
There are innumerable cultural, legal, and ethical obstacles your company must overcome when determining the viability of global expansion. However, address the most pressing issues of culture and language and this will determine and resolve many other corporate learning obstacles as well. Learn from other companies that were once in your shoes. While technology has made the world smaller, it has also made it more complex with digital space and marketplaces to manage and curate as well as the boots on the ground in real life. Tackle the workload with flexibility that attracts the best talent no matter where it’s from. While some of your best employees may work full time, others might only require minimal hours and supplemental income. Regardless, talent that drives your company forward should never be passed on.