As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably considered establishing a business in an overseas market and, as a result, have wondered what some viable international business growth strategies are.
It’s no secret that, figuratively speaking, the world is getting smaller.
As communications technology continues to improve, developing nations undergo the transformation necessary to come into their own on the world stage. The opportunity for entrepreneurs like you to tap into these markets is there if you know what to do.
You should know that international markets are different from their domestic counterparts by their very natures for a number of different reasons.
There are advantages as well as disadvantages associated with these differences and it pays to know about them before you commit resources from your business to establishing a presence in a foreign market.
Let’s take a look at some of the unique aspects related to doing business internationally and you’ll get a good idea for what you can do to make sure that your company is successful in its overseas endeavors.
- The stability of the country – This mainly applies to countries that are still developing. It isn’t uncommon for these countries to experience political instability that could threaten your ability to conduct business within its borders. When coming up with a plan, you want to do thorough research on the country that you intend to carry out operations in and make sure that the risk of doing so is low enough that you’ll be able to conduct business there successfully.
- The local laws related to doing business – Before you started your company in the US, you knew all of the laws related to doing so, right?
It makes sense then, that part of your international business growth strategies would involved being well-versed on the laws of the country that you intend to do business in.
From reporting standards, to hours that employees work, to what you are and aren’t allowed to sell, the standards are likely going to be different from what you’re used to. Even if the difference is trivial, it’s worth knowing about so that your company works within the law.
- Currency rates – This should be a huge factor in your international business growth strategies, regardless of what your industry is.
You need to keep an eye on currency rates because no two currencies are exactly alike and that’s an important thing to keep in mind when dealing with international customers.
By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful business on foreign soil. After you consider these factors, several truths that go with business success in the US can apply, at least to some degree, to foreign markets.
- Make sure that your processes are as efficient as possible – When meeting the demands of your customers, your service should be as quick and efficient there as it would be here in the US.
Take the time to establish relationships with suppliers and vendors to make sure that your products will also get into the hands of your customers as quickly as possible and you will easily establish a reputation as a company that puts people first.
This can easily apply to the concept of customer service as well. You want to settle any disputes that might arise quickly and fairly. Turn a situation around and win a customer back after something has gone wrong and you will have no problem with establishing trust with other people who want to use your company’s services.
- Be versatile – No matter where you are in the world, the simple fact that everyone has different needs applies. This is something you need to consider when devising international business growth strategies.
Do some market research to find out what people in the country that you are targeting want. Your company may be able to meet the needs of several demographics in the area. If it can’t, you may be able to develop a product or service that can.
By looking into who you are serving and what they need, you may very well find an untapped niche that be cornered early. Your company’s name could then become synonymous with a particular offering as a result.
- Establish partnerships – In order for your business plan to be viable, your international business growth strategies should involve a partnership with someone who already has a strong presence in the country where you’ll be working.
Try to find a business whose offerings can be supplemented by your own, as you want to establish a bond that can be mutually beneficial without the eventuality of a competition emerging between your business and your partner’s.
Once you work with a household name long enough, your product can eventually branch off on its own and you’ll already have loyal customers who can fuel your continued success in your new market.
When it comes to international business growth strategies and making a name for yourself in other countries, the endeavor can be a mixed bag of familiarity and uncertainty.
Wherever you decide to go in order to expand your business, you want to be sure that the venture is something that is viable and, beyond that, you want to take into account things like local customs, potential language barriers, and taxes before you fully commit.
If you gain a firm grasp on these things before you establish your business and include them as part of your international business growth strategies during the time that you conduct and expand your enterprise, then there’s no telling how far you’ll be able to go.
Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!
For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com. Follow us on Twitter @portalcfo
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Manny Skevofilax is a consultant and speaker that helps his clients successfully navigate the challenges of growing their businesses profitably. Since 2003, Manny helps businesses enhance their results by using his experience in strategic planning, financial statement analysis, operations, organizational development, and team-building. His consulting firm, PORTAL CFO Consulting, Inc., has attracted clients from diverse industries in the United States and abroad.
Manny can be reached at 410-808-3441 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.