Running your own business is a challenging but gratifying activity. As an entrepreneur, you get to not only test and improve your relevant skill sets but also to observe the amazing growth of your employees. All the while, profits from your business make all of you richer than you can imagine. But for that, your company needs to prosper. As Dick Jones in Robocop famously said, “Good business is where you find it.” And sometimes, the said opportunity for growth lies beyond the borders of your country. Perhaps the possibilities available in yours are already exhausted, and the only way to generate higher revenue is to expand internationally. Or maybe you’ve uncovered a deal of the decade, and you want in.
Regardless of your motivations, there are several aspects that you should focus on in order to successfully enter the markets abroad, including choosing an agency to represent you on the new market, opening a local office, hiring appropriate interpreters, analyzing your local rivals, making use of native talent, taking into account different payment options, deciding on a plan and being prepared in case a disaster strikes. Explore the tips below and learn how to safely tread this ambitious path!
Consider Getting a Team of Interpreters and Translators
Even if you have an office in the region, you’re unlikely to be able to communicate with the local population – your potential customers, employees as well as business partners. In this case, hiring a team of interpreters and translators is the best way to overcome this obstacle. You can choose from a variety of freelance services or opt for a more traditional service that employs dedicated salarymen at its headquarters. Either way, make sure to check their background and ensure that they are adequately trained.
This will help ensure that you get the best possible services and, in the long run, save you both time and money. From contracts, business deals, and paycheck stub abbreviations to your website, offer, and marketing content – everything needs to be translated into the target language with the knowledge going beyond the grammar and vocabulary.
Develop a Flexible Plan of Action
When running your own business, it is crucial to have a plan of action and diligently follow it. The plan should address all of the predetermined variables so that you make the best possible use of your resources. When entering new markets, you might need to spend quite a bit more on the marketing efforts, though you should be wary not to overdo it – a carefully developed marketing budget would make this task easier.
It is also essential to keep track of your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly. If some approach doesn’t work, then you need to figure out a new way of doing things. This way, you can ensure that your company grows without compromising its integrity.
Choose a Representative or Agency
There’s a saying that goes, “you get what you pay for.” Indeed, it is best to hire a competent abroad representative. This can be done through either a contract with an agency or by hiring an in-house representative. Be sure to choose the one with a solid reputation and experience in working with foreign companies. Such a move will allow you to easily keep track of any new legal developments in the region that may have a lasting impact on your company. Moreover, someone who innately knows the local business environment will be of immense help when it comes to navigating the local customs and rules.
Open a Local Office Whenever Possible
Whether you choose to work with an agency or hire your own permanent representative, it is crucial to have a local office as soon as possible. It will help you establish a physical presence in the country and will be a strong indication of your dedication to the new market. A locally-based business typically makes it easier for you to access the local supply chain, which will help you deliver the best service to your customers. Finally, the existence of a local office will improve communication among all your offices in the country and abroad.
Hire Native Talent
If your company is going to expand into one of the non-English countries, you’re likely going to be hiring native talent for your new office. It is worth noting that localization is a complex process that requires a thorough analysis of the local environment, demographics, and industry trends. This is why it is better to hire a native speaker who has undergone years of education and training in the relevant field. They have a deep understanding of the culture and nuances and can thus provide your company with the best possible service.
Assess Local Rivals
Make sure to analyze the current industry climate in the region and compare it to what you’re used to. This will allow you to pick your niche and determine the best possible way to achieve a competitive advantage. You may find out that you’re not the only one in town, which is why it is important to have a solid list of your competitors so you can properly assess the risks involved. The best course of action is to take your time and research the market before jumping into it. The good thing is that the internet offers a variety of resources that can help you get a better understanding of your future business partners.
Consider Various Payment Options
One thing you should be aware of when working abroad is that not all local companies accept payment in your home currency. This means that you’re going to have to check whether your new partner accepts a foreign card or if they prefer a different payment method. If the latter is the case, then it is crucial to find out what this method is and assess whether you can use it or need to find an alternative. Keep in mind that the cost of international transactions can be rather onerous, so it is best to consider various options before deciding on a particular one.
Take Into Account Possible Disasters
No matter if you’re expanding your business abroad or not, there is always a chance that something will go wrong. This is why it is vital to thoroughly assess the risks involved and determine how to properly mitigate them, especially if you enter a foreign market.
For example, if the country of your operations is known for its political instability, then it is best to have a way of protecting your assets in case of a financial crisis or even a revolution. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your company is properly insured in case the worst comes to fruition.
Expanding into international markets is a difficult but rewarding endeavor. If done right, it can provide you with an opportunity to grow your business and generate a larger profit. The tips provided above will allow you to successfully navigate the complex legalities of cross-border transactions and find your way around the cultural nuances of the new environment. Just make sure not to rush into things and take your time to better understand the market on which you’re about to step in. Patience is a virtue, especially when conducting business. Good luck!