There are many reasons to consider taking your business from a domestic enterprise to one that connects with customers all over the globe. Whether you have a growth company that is outpacing your projected earnings or you run a startup company that has international customers interested in your products, going global can have many advantages. However, before you take this important step, there are a few tips you can keep in mind that may help you avoid some common errors as you move into the international market.
1. Consider Your Target Audience’s Culture
Some businesses experience huge growths in the domestic market but then stumble as they try to expand globally. While there might be several reasons for this, one of the most common is a failure to understand the cultural differences between national and international business practices and the market they are trying to sell to. Learning about your potential customers and how they might perceive your registered brand name or products can help you gauge what kind of success you might have.
For example, if your clothing business has grown quickly in the American market, it is wise to invest in fashion trend research in the areas you plan to expand into. What is popular in the United States may not be in France, Spain, or the UK. Taking the time for market research and web-based focus groups can better help you understand how international consumers shop and what interests them.
2. Review Your Company’s Foundation
Going global requires a strong foundation in all aspects of your business. Therefore, it is wise to review each to ensure they are stable enough to support such a move. Meet with your social media team to discuss how to expand into the international market and whether you need to rebrand your product. It is also wise to discuss whether all members of your team are comfortable with such an expansion and to give them a chance to voice their concerns.
Your financial foundation can be just as important as the one you have built with your staff when it comes to moving into a foreign market. You may want to consider setting up bank accounts in the areas you are interested in so your new customers feel more comfortable with how they pay. Review your own accounts and consider how the currency exchange rate might affect your sales.
3. Invest In An Audit
While having the utmost confidence in your business might help you succeed in the international market, investing in a business audit can be an effective tool for ensuring your readiness to expand. An external audit involves a comprehensive and non-biased review of your company’s practices, written guidelines, and its financial position. This type of review may help you see where your business might be lacking before you launch your expansion.
Investing in such an audit can also give your investors peace of mind. Being able to produce reports that come from a credible source also puts you in a positive light as a business owner, as investors are more likely to put their money with someone who has nothing to hide.
4. Understand The Legal Requirements
If you plan to expand your company into one single region, such as the UK, learning the legal procedures of such a move can help you avoid snags that might delay the process. As you plan to move into international markets, contact your company’s lawyer so that he or she can research all the legalities involved. Some countries have more stringent guidelines than others, so remember to advise your lawyer about the specific areas like employment law where you plan to market your company.
Working closely with your lawyer can be effective in helping you answer some of the more complicated questions of the legal aspect of global business expansion. When you first meet with your lawyer, bring along a list of concerns or queries you might have. For example, how will you deal with commercial trade agreements for that sector? What kind of certifications will you need? The more thoroughly you can answer these questions, the more confident you are likely to feel about your plans.
5. Become Inspired By Others
Planning and executing an international expansion of your company can be fraught with frustrating moments and temporary setbacks. In times like these, having a mentor or inspirational figure to look up to may help you remember why you started your business in the first place. A mentor can help you look over your business plan and point out possible errors that caused a delay.
Looking up to other successful global business leaders, such as Sjamsul Nursalim, who has built his empire on retail, property, and coal investments. His expansion from his homeland of Indonesia into a variety of international markets has made him a well-known model of success for global expansion. Following in the footsteps of individuals like these may help you remember that while success might not come all at once, it comes to those who never lose sight of their goals.
Expanding from national to global markets can be a major challenge for any business owner. However, when you know what to expect and plan your expansion well, you are more likely to find success.