Suppose your business has experienced growth in your local country, especially in the United States. In that case, you will likely see success in the global market. That said, taking your business global requires a lot of effort, time, patience, market connections, and most importantly, tons and tons of money. In the end, the American market is massive. It is, however, insufficient for most enterprises, particularly the big ones. For these growth-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders, the world is their oyster. That said, going international is both a rewarding and challenging process.
There are some benefits from which international business owners can take advantage. It includes decreased dependence on local markets, extended sales life of existing services and products, and protection from fluctuating local markets, to name a few. While these benefits are ever-prevalent, one of the most significant advantages of going global is the improved potential for growth and expansion. Spin the globe, and you will discover many international expansion opportunities. So, with that out of the way, let us take a look at a few steps that will allow you to take your business global. Without waiting any further, some of these steps are listed down below.
Localize your fulfillment and marketing efforts
Before you think about taking your business international, you first need to think about your back-office tasks and how they’ll be different in another country. For example, ask yourself who will answer customers’ phone calls? How will you ship or store products, how will you process employee payroll? Who will train your overseas employees? In that scenario, hiring freight forwarding services will be an excellent choice to ship and deliver your products to overseas customers. Knowing the answers to these questions will allow your business to remain in a better position for success when operating globally.
Furthermore, every country has its own unique culture. And it would be best if you created marketing campaigns that cater to the local market while remaining two steps ahead of local competitors. It will be pretty different than companies back in the U.S. That said, if you’re already selling your products globally, ask your U.S. contacts at these particular businesses for introductions to their counterparts in the marketing you want to cater to.
Select your markets
Many American businesses will take the path of least resistance when operating internationally. They will typically take their operations to other English-speaking countries such as New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, or any other country close to home. While this might be an effective expansion strategy, a better one is to determine which countries have the highest demand for your business’s services and products. For instance, if you’re selling auto parts, countries like Germany or Japan might be the best place to start.
Like everything else, taking the 80/20 approach here will be the way to go. Meaning ensuring eight percent of your international sales should come from twenty percent of your global markets. So, carefully choose your international target market and ensure that you follow the 80/20 methods to balance out your sales with the ones you make from your home country.
Decide on a structure
There are numerous ways your business can go international. However, these methods vary in levels of investment and complexities. You have to decide whether to open a physical office overseas and strike partnerships with other influential companies in your target industry. Or leverage important in-country distributors based on your budget or business goals.
After all, the services and solutions you utilize in your home country might not be the same and as effective in other countries. For instance, if you’re taking your business operations to China, you must partner up with local distributors and business experts to tackle the local Chinese market. Wherever possible, incorporating your efforts, either via the acquisition of local players or as a startup, will allow your business to benefit from the efforts of local experts and companies.
Understand the local rules
Every country and its local market have its own unique ‘rules of engagement.’ And when you’re thinking of going global, it is of the utmost importance to get in touch with an international expansion consultancy agency. Doing so will enable you to learn all local privacy rules, compensation rules, contractor vs. employment rules, government taxes, business taxes, accounting rules, local laws and regulations, and much more. Moreover, don’t forget to avoid the risk of illicit things such as corruption, organized crime, and bribery in various countries. So, avoid participating in them at all costs to prevent jail time in a foreign country. In the end, these rules and regulations will help you decide whether taking your business to a global market makes sense or not.
Learn the local language
When you take your business global, language barriers will undoubtedly slow down your pathway towards international success. That said, if your business only offers content in the place of origin’s native language, don’t assume that your global audience will automatically understand it. With that in mind, one way to ensure that your audience is well-informed of your products and services, consider using location–detection programs. You should also have tools to convert your content into the language your target market understands.
Furthermore, you can hire freelance translation services and web developers to create multiple versions of your business website to cater to the foreign market. However, to avoid such a hassle altogether, consider catering to English-speaking international markets. Once you gain experience with global markets, you can then think about trying other non-English speaking countries.
Visit your foreign country of choice beforehand
While most consumers prefer doing business online with organizations worldwide, nothing can substitute face-to-face connection to building trust and lasting relationships with customers.
So, consider visiting your foreign country of choice in person to understand better the market you’ll be catering to, including interacting with customers, partners, vendors, and outsourced staff.
Although expanding your business on an international level will require a lot of time, effort, and money. More and more techniques and technologies are available that make the process more inexpensive, secure, and convenient. That said, whatever happens, don’t forget to build your global empire slowly and remain patient. If you successfully do these two things, new revenue streams will open up, and the dollars will start flowing in sooner rather than later. So, consider the steps mentioned above, and you’ll be on your way to global success in no time!