Entrepreneurs usually feel quite confident building their business empires in their home countries. But the moment you talk to them about expanding overseas, they get worried. They fear the regulatory environments, differences in culture, and border controls.
Fortunately, growing a business overseas is actually easier that you think. In the past it was a challenge, but today we have an abundance of tools that make it easy to earn new customers, send money and receive payments.
Here’s what you need to do:
Get To Grips With The Language
The first step to expanding to a new market is to learn the language. You can either do this yourself – the time-consuming way – or you can hire somebody with skills to do it for you.
If you speak English, you already know one of the most complex languages. Many other languages around the world are actually much simpler.
Develop Your Technology
Thanks to the cloud and international payment systems, running companies overseas is now dramatically easier than it was in the past. It’s a good idea, therefore, to consult with a technology company about how your firm might benefit from the apps and software that’s now available.
Technology is beneficial for all kinds of reasons. It lets you stay on top of paperwork, track all your shipments and manage demand. In many cases, you do not need to operate a separate office overseas. Tracking, tagging and monitoring can provide you with all the information you need to conduct operations remotely.
Streamline Your Paperwork
Doing business internationally often involves a lot of paperwork. Some of it is essential – such as invoicing. But a lot of it is, unfortunately, the result of government bureaucracies.
There are two major ways to streamline your paperwork:
- Hire somebody who really understands the system to take care of it for you
- Use automated software solutions on monthly subscription
You might also want to hire an attorney. Lawyers can prove invaluable when dealing with authorities overseas. They can also show you what to expect before you begin trading in a foreign country.
You can also conduct the best board assessment process to make sure you’re hitting key performance indicators and metrics of comparable firms you hope to compete with in the space – optimizing your brand accordingly.
Focus On One Market At A Time
Many companies assume that taking their businesses international means that they need to set up operations in every country in the world. Needless to say, approaches like these almost always end in failure (unless you have an extremely agile digital business).
A better approach is to tackle one market at a time. Learn which countries and regions are best ready to accept your products. Then build up robust marketing and supply chains in those locations.
Automate The Rules Of Business
Operating a business outside of your home country can feel like a nerve-wracking experience. That’s because you often don’t know the rules of the game. Many times you worry that you’re breaking the law.
The trick here is to start afresh – just as you did when you first set up your business domestically. Don’t assume that you know anything. Instead, work through all the rules, regulations, and procedures one by one. Then make adjustments to your business model, depending on what you learn.