How To Take Your Business Global
How many times have you dreamt of making your business huge and selling your brand worldwide? If you have been focusing on getting your brand known in the US until now, you might be considering entering the markets in other countries. Expanding your business to overseas would open up new markets that you have not yet embraced, and could be the start of your company becoming a global entity. There are some things you need to take into consideration before you make this huge leap, but do it properly and it is something that you will not regret.
Research is a crucial first step for any businesses intending to go international. You need to find out which markets are likely to welcome your product and which ones look like there might be a demand. Are there already other companies selling a product similar to yours, and if so is yours better in some way? Do they provide an excellent customer service? Could you make your deliveries as quick as they do? Does your brand provide better value for money?
You should not be considering entering a market that is already saturated with products like yours, or where the companies selling something similar have cornered the market because they are so good. To be successful internationally, you need to stand out above the competition in some way.
You also need to research the legalities of operating in that country and Biz Latin Hub is a great place to do that. Are there licenses you need? Is the tax rate any good? Can you operate there if you do not live there? Using El Salvador as an example, it is very easy to set up a business there. There are no restrictions that say you must be a resident, and the other commercial rules are not complicated.
Learn The Language
Don’t be one of the more than 80% of people in the US who do not speak a second language. Language can be a barrier that will stall the success of your business overseas, so make sure you learn to at least speak the basics of the country whose markets you are intending on entering. Of course, you can find translators to help you with important or long documents, but you will find that the people you are dealing with will appreciate it if you have made the effort to learn how to use acknowledgments and manners in their tongue.
Some people consider English to be an international language and expect everyone to be able to speak it, but this is not the case. It may apply in some areas, such as airline pilots, but when you are dealing with locals, businesses or individuals, do not be so arrogant as to be upset with them if they do not speak a language you can understand.
After all, it is them that are the customers and them that you should be trying to please.
Make The Most Of Technology
The latest technology has made it easier than ever to break into international markets. You no longer need to visit the country to hold meetings, for instance. Virtual meetings can be held anywhere, with participants from several different countries if that is needed.
As well as staying in constant contact, technology will let you track shipments, manage paperwork, and generally make all the other tasks of trading in another country simpler.
Trading with other countries can create much paperwork. This needs to be organized with a system that will help you keep track of orders, contracts and other correspondence for when you need to access it.
Learn About The Culture And Principles
The culture and business principles of a country can affect the way they operate and you should be aware of these things before you expect them to work in the same way as you. Find out as much as you can – World Business Culture is a great resource for doing just that. In some of the hotter countries, as an example, it is quite normal to take a three or four-hour break after lunch when the sun is at it hottest. The work then goes on much later in the day so they still work a similar number of hours in total. Known as ‘siesta’ in Spanish, there are several countries that operate this way.
There are always resources online to find out about the cultures and principles of different countries, and some governments offer free courses to budding entrepreneurs who are thinking of entering their markets.
Do It From The Start
Don’t wait until you have made your first sales before having everything in place. You need to be prepared and ready from the start. Messing up on the first orders because of your organization is not good, and bad reviews travel much quicker than good ones.
You may well be excited and raring to go, but a bit of patience is needed to have everything in place first. Make sure you have backup plans in case of a problem as well. If a shipping agent or supplier lets you down, have someone else ready to step into their shoes.
If you want international success you have to stay focused. You cannot approach this in a half-hearted manner or you will be doomed to failure before you start.
It is better to concentrate on markets that are going to provide you with a substantial customer base, has a friendly environment for businesses from abroad, and is cost-effective. Two out of three of these things points towards a market you should be entering, and focusing on those could be a big advantage.
Moving Outside Of The US
The US provides a huge market for your products, but there are even bigger markets outside of it. Far more consumers live in other countries, and they are there ready to buy from you if your product and service are good enough. If you have done your homework and made sure you are entering the right countries, becoming international could be the best thing you have ever done.