Starting a local business is stressful enough, but expanding it internationally is a whole different thing. But there is a reason why business owners want to take that extra step and go outside of their comfort zone – the only thing that’s stopping the majority is the fact that most of them have no idea how to make the initial step in the first place. It takes a lot of time, energy, money, and sometimes luck to make it, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, especially with the right tools! So here are 7 things to consider when expanding your business internationally!
1. Your goals and plans
Before anything else, you need to have an idea, a vision of sorts, how your overseas business is going to look like. Will it be the same as your local one or a totally different kind? Before anything else, it’s important to create a business plan that will determine your visions and set your goals. This way you’ll have a solid plan, and everything in one place – so you never get lost along the way. Handling a business that’s international and overseas can be quite a task, especially if you have no idea how to overlook everything, but that’s why having a well-thought out business plan helps!
2. Affordability and financial stability
After coming up with a good business plan, you need to consider what are your long-term goals when it comes to income, are you planning on investing a big chunk of your money right away and how will that impact your financial stability? You do want to risk it sometimes, as it might come back to you and double the income, but at the same time, you don’t want to put your financial stability at risk. It all depends on what kind of business you are planning on doing, if it’s drop shipping, or are you promoting a service that doesn’t need handling and shipping, These are the major factors that need to be well calculated before jumping into international business!
3. International partners and employees
Some businesses you simply can’t do on your comfortable sofa, you need to go out and do your job! This is especially tricky for people who are interested in expanding their business, it’s better to meet with your international partners and possible employees before your jump into business with them. But traveling can be quite a hassle, as some countries are easily accessible, and some ask for additional documentation in order to let you in. For instance, Golden Visa Portugal offers the ability for foreign investors and business owners to access the country and spend time in it freely. Depending on if you want to stay or just visit, you will need to seek out special documents or a visa to be able to work, and this can take time to process so keep that in mind!
4. Marketing on your end
After you’ve settled everything, made a business plan, met your international partners, all you need to do is put your business out there! That’s why picking the right marketing strategy is the hardest thing to do, but it will help you out a lot! Every county is different when it comes to marketing, as they have their own respected ways of marketing, but at the same time, social media platforms are becoming more and more universal for all age groups. Regardless of the nature of your business, taking advantage of the social media algorithms is probably going to work well as your marketing strategy! The key is to get the job done, without having to invest way too much money into it, and social media can do just that!
5. Currency and tax
Depending on what region you are trying to do business in, you need to consider the differences in financial laws, currency, and taxes as it will drastically impact the success of your business in the chosen location! By doing lots of research, and hiring the right people on both sides, you will be able to come up with the best possible solution. Adding the option of a universal payment method is probably the best idea, but having multiple options is also better than nothing! The same goes with tax and shipping, you need to know approximately how things work in the chosen country!
6. Building your brand
Another crucial factor in expanding your brand, especially when going internationally, is setting your brand image in place – this is really important as it will show people from all over the world why they would invest and support a foreign company instead of a local one! Creating a loud and clear image for your brand is going to set you apart from other similar businesses, remember that similar brands are emerging each day and you need to outshine your competitors in every way possible. See what works for other international brands and learn what makes them so successful amongst people from all over the world, and use this information to your advantage!
7. Packaging and handling
You can’t forget about the packaging and handling of your goods, now can you? If you are dealing with international warehouses, it’s extremely important to do as much research and only work with experienced and well-known companies. They are handling your goods, so you want to make sure you or your international customers don’t get scammed in any way shape, or form! With that being said, having international warehouses and storage spaces all over the world isn’t a bad idea. As shipping would be way cheaper for the customers – and your end goal is to make your customers satisfied! You’ll cut time and be able to ship out items way faster, than having to ship them from your location to a customer who is across the globe from you!
At the end of the day, you are looking to take quite the brave step, a lot of business owners dream of going international but never end up doing it due to fear. But with the right tools, knowledge and resources you are able to do so, without the fear of losing way too much money and seeing nothing in return! Just be cautious and plan everything accordingly, you’ll be good to go!
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