Tips for Branching Your Business Out Internationally

 If your business has reached its limits in its current location and size, you might be looking to expand it by exploring international options. Growing your business into overseas territories affords you the opportunity to exploit entirely new markets that you haven’t yet tapped into.

But that’s certainly not to say that doing this is in any way easy. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult and challenging things a business and its owners, managers and staff can ever go through. There’ll be plenty of challenges to overcome and problems that emerge along the way.

There’s certainly no guarantees of success, and that’s why planning ahead and getting the approach right is so important. Here are some tips that’ll serve you well if you are interested in branching your business out internationally.

Plan for the Potential Impact on Your Business

First of all, you should think about the overall impact these changes are likely to have on your business as it currently exists. Of course, you want it to cause growth and increased sales. But there will also be other implications, especially if you’ve got a team that’s pulling away from other work so they can work on the expansion logistics. Think about all of the potential ways in which your business and its regular operations might suffer if you pivot towards international growth and expansion.

Develop a Plan and Strategy

It’s essential to have a strong plan and strategy in place for how you’re going to achieve all of these things. It’s not something that’s going to happen by itself and it’s certainly not going to be  a walk in the park. Developing a strategy should be a process that’s informed by in-depth research. It might also be a good idea to consult other entrepreneurs who have already been through similar processes with their businesses. That way, you can learn from their mistakes and make the most of the advice and wisdom they can impart to you.

Prepare a Budget

Next, you’re going to need to make sure that your business has a budget properly prepared for the changes you’re planning on making. This is a huge undertaking and you’re going to need financing in place in order to pull it all off. Preparing a budget will give you an idea of how much money you’re going to need and it should help you put in place realistic expectations. From there, you can get an idea of what happens next. It’s hard to do that until you have a plan and the relevant numbers in front of you.

Research the Market in the Territories You Want to Enter

Research of the overseas markets that you’re aiming to enter is essential. If you don’t take the time or make the effort to research the market you want to enter, you’ll make a whole host of mistakes that simply don’t need to be made. Many businesses enter foreign markets arrogantly thinking that they can just do the same things that led them to success at home and expect it all to work out. But that’s a recipe for disaster because no two markets are the same.

Image Source - CC0 License

Carry Out Product Localization

Next, you should think about how you might need to localize your products. You need to make sure that they’re suitable for the new territories where you want to start selling them. Not every culture is the same and there might be things about your products that need to be changed and adapted in order for them to be appealing to customers in certain locations and parts of the world. This, of course, will depend entirely on the nature of your products and where you want to sell them.

Establish Local Contacts

It’s a good idea to have some local contacts in place in the locations where you want to start selling your products. When you establish those connections, you can get a foothold in the territory and start spreading the word of your business and its products to interested target customers much faster. Networking and making use of existing contacts are definitely advisable as you go about the process of establishing this new chapter in your company’s existence.

Navigate the Language Challenges

When you’re looking to sell your products in another country, there are going to be certain language challenges that you have to negotiate and overcome. If you’re looking to start selling products in an English-speaking country for the first time, for example, it might be a good idea or the business’s leaders and executives to take Online English Lessons and brush up on their English skills before they start sending out press releases or making contacts in that country. And the same applies to any other language and the transition to any other nation.

Begin the Overseas Hiring Process

If you’re going to be setting up new offices in other countries to oversee the work that you’re going to be doing there, you’ll need to go about hiring people. Hiring people in other countries might be a little different to your current location, so you’ll need to keep that in mind. Expected pay levels might be different, labor laws and regulations might be different too. So all of those things will need to be understood before you begin hiring people. Nevertheless having a base in the locations where you want to do business can be a good idea.

Gain an Understanding of Any Legal Challenges Coming Down the Pipeline

Business laws and regulations vary quite significantly from country to country and even within different parts of a country. So it’s important to understand the challenges you’re likely to face as an organization from a legal standpoint before you begin doing business in a new country. You should try to seek legal advice from a specialist attorney who has knowledge of business law in the particular location where you want to start doing business. That way, you can understand what you need to prepare for sooner rather than later.

Image Source - CC0 License

Get the Right Insurance

It’s important to think about your business’s insurance needs as it begins to branch out into new areas. If you don’t have the right insurance in place that covers you for things such as liabilities in other countries, you might end up running into problems later and that’s obviously not what you want to happen. It pays off to do some research, find out what level of cover you have and then put in place new arrangements to plug any coverage gaps that might be present.

Train Staff Members

Staff members will need to be trained in new ways as you transition to a more integrated global way of doing business. For example, dealing with customer service issues might be different if you’re selling different iterations of your products in different locations. Things like that will have to be taken into account when informing and training staff so that they’re not left unsure of anything. You don’t want to create any unnecessary confusion inside your business.

Learn as You Go

There’s a lot that goes into making a business a truly global force that’s capable of finding sustainable success in multiple different countries. And you can’t possibly be an expert at it as you undertake this challenge for the first time. That’s why it’s so important to learn as you go and pick up skills as you move through this journey. There’s always more to understand and learn about as you go through something like this with your business for the first time.

Keep Looking for New Opportunities

As you grow your business in new locations and territories, you should try to look for new opportunities as and when they arise. There’s always more that can be done and new avenues that can be explored. Don’t be content with the initial success you hopefully find. Instead, start pushing in new directions and coming up with new ideas for finding success. As you learn more about the new markets you’re entering, you’ll hopefully also uncover new opportunities that you can mine.

Don’t Rush the Process

Having said all that, it’s important not to rush this whole process. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re rushing things too fast and your business struggles as a result. Expanding into overseas territories is something that will necessarily take time and that’s just the truth of it. There’s not much that can be done to change that, so don’t artificially force your business into situations it’s not yet ready for. It’s usually best to take the slow and steady approach.

Entering overseas markets with your business presents a real challenge, and it’s one that certainly shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated. If your business is serious about growing internationally, it’s something that’s going to have to be planned out very carefully, and the advice above covers that.

No comments