Once you have succeeded in locally and nationally, it may be time for you and your business to think about maximising your profits and expanding overseas. Breaking into the global market is an impressive feat, and not every organisation who sets out to do this achieves their goal. We’ve collated 5 key considerations for you to think about if expanding internationally is on the cards for you.
Are you ready?
The most imperative factor to think about when considering to expand internationally is: are you ready? Venturing your business overseas is not as simple as you may think. There a lot of things to contemplate, including selling and marketing in another country that may have completely different personal, social, cultural and professional norms than your own. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether your business is really ready to expand.
- Have I ensured that a customer base exists in the country or countries I want to enter?
- Is the foreign market I’m looking at compatible with my own market?
- Do I have the available resources and staff to focus on both expansion and my established business?
Know your company and industry
In order to understand whether you and your business are truly ready to expand overseas, you should have a clear picture of where your company (and the industry in which it operates) is today, and where it sits currently, as well as where you want it to be. When considering overseas expansion, ensure that you take into account any possible supply constraints, as well as any other factors that might change your product or service lines later.
Setting up office
Once you have established that globally broadening your business is both a viable and wise option, you will need to consider if you need a physical office space. If you’re just digitally expanding internationally, this may not be the case. However, depending on your company’s niche, you may need a postal address or even an office space available for you should you need it. In this case, a serviced or virtual office can be a huge help, saving you both time and money. Visit this website link for more information.
Language and cultural barriers
One of the most important things to address when internationally developing your business is the language, cultural and social barriers that you may encounter. Selling to customers or working with vendors who don’t speak your native language can be a significant obstacle for any business owner. Think about hiring bilingual staff, or enlisting efficient translators when you need them. If you don’t have the money for this, outsource tasks like overseas customer service and translation of promotional materials to freelancers.
As well as language, it’s paramount that you take any differing cultural norms into account. If your company doesn’t respect any key cultural cues, your business’ success will be severely inhibited in the respective country. Combat this by researching cultural practices in countries you plan to expand into, as these may directly relate to your company’s product or service. Foreign customers’ and business partners’ needs may not be the same as those of your domestic stakeholders, and this could affect your sales, marketing and overall business strategies
Tax and compliance issues
Navigating legal, tax and compliance issues in your home country can be difficult enough, without having to adapt and change within your business for overseas regulations. As well as this, your home country may tax foreign income, whilst also imposing special reporting requirements on it. Additionally, foreign banks may be hesitant to deal with your international account due to the administrative burden, so you might need to set up a separate, foreign business entity and bank account to make handling transactions worth while for the banks.
In order to successfully translate your business overseas, you need to take into account a wide range of personal, social, cultural and professional issues. From tax compliance to language barriers, it can seem like an overwhelming feat. However, international business dealings are one of the most fruitful and rewarding endeavours, available to you if you indeed take the right steps.