When you have grown your business as much as you can in your own country, you might consider that it’s time to expand your business overseas. This can be a wonderful way to really boost your name, your brand, and your business success. There are pitfalls to look out for though, and it may not be the simplest thing you can do when it comes to expansion. However, if you can do it well, the world is indeed your oyster.
Make A New Business Plan
When you first set up your business you will have (or certainly should have) created a business plan. This business plan will have included all the information that a potential investor would need to show them how you see the business succeeding, where and how you will be spending money, what your expansion plans are, and what your projected turnover and profits are going to be for at least the first five years. This plan should be updated periodically as new business deals succeed or fail and new income streams begin or end. When it comes to expanding overseas, it’s more important than ever to have a relevant, up to date business plan. Not only will it show investors that you have taken the time to consider all eventualities and that you have the money and expertise to at least start the process, but it will also show you those things. It will show you whether or not your idea is a good one, and whether it’s the right time to do it. With the information and the figures to hand, expanding overseas is a lot less daunting than it otherwise would be.
Do Market Research
You may be completely ready to expand overseas, you might have a fantastic product or service, you could have an excellent team behind you as well as plenty of capital to invest, but does that mean you will succeed? If you haven’t done the right amount of market research, then it could be difficult to tell, and you may well be expanding into a country that has no requirement for your goods and services. That can be a big failure when it comes to your expansion plans, and you can lose a lot of money realizing that your idea is just not going to work. Surveys can be a great way to test an idea, run a poll, or carry out market research. There are many free survey creators out there, for example https://www.qualtrics.com/
Carrying out market research means looking at the area you intend to expand into and determining whether or not there is any call for your business there. This could mean interviewing potential customers, finding out the results of a MaxDiff Analysis, or perhaps seeing what other businesses are already in the area. If this is difficult for you to do because you live in another country, then hiring a market research company to collate the findings for you can help you. Once you have the information you need, it is essential that you act on it, even if that means completely abandoning your expansion plans. To go ahead when you have been warned not to would be foolish indeed.
When you are planning to sell items abroad, it is good to be able to communicate with people in that country who may be able to help you. Whether it’s about planning permission for setting up a store or because you want to understand what taxes you will be paying, or even if you want someone to run the business for you in that country, you are going to need to be able to talk to them. This can be difficult if you don’t speak one another’s languages, and mistakes can easily be made which can lead to amisunderstanding at the very least, and at worst it can mean a loss of income or even legal issues. Therefore, finding a good global interpreter platform to enable you or a chosen interpreter to communicate effectively can be a good way to be safe and secure when dealing with other countries.
As well as an interpreter who uses the right equipment, a translator may be required for documents and especially contracts. No one wants to sign something they don’t truly understand. Your marketing will need to take this into account as well. There is no point in directly translating your current marketing into the language of the new country if the message is no longer relevant.
When you are working in a country that you’re not used to and that isn’t your own, you are going to need to think carefully before setting any prices or negotiating deals. Working out the exchange rate should be your top priority so that you know what you are expecting to pay or be paid – that way you won’t have a surprise when the bill or the payment comes in,and it wasn’t what you had thought it would be. There will also be cultural, social, and economic factors to take into consideration. This can make setting up a business overseas a challenge, but it is one that can be overcome with the right research and dedication.
Building relationships before you start selling abroad will help you immensely. Relationships need to be built with everything from those who you hope will spend their money with you to those who you hope might lend you money to continue growing your business. Getting to know people, learning at least a little of the language, taking the time to understand the cultural differences between your country and theirs will all be things that stand you in good stead. Before you get down to business in a meeting, for example, make small talk. Learn things, ask questions, and be interested. You’ll be amazed at the differences it can make to how receptive people are to you and your ideas. Body language is universal, remember, so be aware of the signals you are sending out, and watch out for those signals in returns. With different cultures and languages involved, body language may be the only sure way of knowing what people are really thinking.