10 Steps to Take Before Expanding Your Business Internationally

Having gathered an impressive target audience in their home market, many companies decide to move onto the next logical stage: they start preparing for expansion into foreign markets.

Going international can bring great success for any company, but not everyone is willing (or able) to do what it takes to succeed. To secure your position in a new market, you will have to organize your work according to many new factors that you may not have dealt with before. Therefore, it is important to outline a general list of actions required to launch your operations in foreign markets.

Things to Check off when Preparing for Global Expansion

  1. Research local target audience.

High demand for your products in your home country does not guarantee demand for it in other countries. Your task is “scouting the situation” – study foreign target markets. Before investing time and money in conquering “new territories”, you should know for sure that your buyer is there, needs your products, and is ready to buy them.

  1. Determine how different your potential overseas market is from your home market.

One of the main factors when choosing overseas markets is their similarity to your home market, yet a detailed understanding of the market, studying the differences is necessary. Taking into account any local trade restrictions, culture peculiarities, monetary system, etc. is imperative.

  1. Calculate if you have enough resources and staff for running your business at home as well as expand into new markets.

Without expanding the workforce, building a business overseas while maintaining the company’s sustainable development at home will be difficult. One can successfully expand business only when the financial and structural stability of the company allows attracting new employees who will cope with the growing volumes of work.

  1. Account for cultural differences.

To successfully expand into foreign markets, you must develop a respectful attitude to the culture and traditions of target countries. Deeply study local culture and way of life, especially if the consumption of your goods or services is directly related to them. Keep the needs of local communities in mind, and adjust your approach accordingly.

  1. Localize your assets and accommodate local customer support.

To overcome the language barrier between your company and foreign clients and partners, you can hire bilingual staff. They will be capable of communicating freely with representatives of another country and translating documentation. You can easily find the best translation companies which will help you with localization. If you cannot afford to pay for a team of in-house translators and support agents, then use external consultants who will serve clients in the target country.

Leave No Stone Unturned – Preparation Is Key for Successful International Business

  1. Comply with tax laws and other legal regulations.

Carefully study the rules of taxation of income, received through international business, which are enforced in your country. You may end up creating business entities in target countries and opening new bank accounts there.

  1. Research local product and packaging requirements.

You should also keep in mind that there may be different standards for packaging and labeling products abroad. For example, in the US, instructions for a product come in English, while sometimes a description in Spanish or French is attached. At the same time, European requirements are much stricter: even a simple product is accompanied by instructions in more than twenty languages.

  1. Learn about local competitors.

Research your potential competitors before infiltrating the market. You will have to work hard to convince customers to abandon their go-to local products for foreign goods, so you should try making your products stand out.

  1. Gather a good team.

The issue of hiring employees who will be responsible for the negotiation process and work with clients in another country deserves special attention. Local life and culture should be close to them, but the interests of your business must remain their priority.

  1. Look for local business associates.

Starting international expansion alone is hard. Look for a local adviser/partner, someone who can support you in the process of establishing business contacts abroad. It’s great they understand the specifics of your business and the industry as a whole and operate in your target market.

If you like learning even more about venturing into a foreign market, check this resource. There is much learning one must do before going into business globally that you should make your prior research as extensive as you can.

Expansion into foreign markets is a good business goal, but its achievement is not without a number of difficulties, for which preparing in advance is advisable. If you get prep work out of the way, your path to success abroad will be clear!

About the Author:

Mark Blackwood

Mark is a dedicated author who puts all of his time and soul into his articles. He is experienced in business, sales, and marketing, especially on an international scale. His main goal is sharing findings he has been collecting through his years as a business adviser and analyst. In his spare time, Mark likes exploring architecture and art.


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