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The world is a smaller place than it ever was before. Technology, communication and travel between countries are at a level we could only have dreamed of a few years ago. Having the ability to video conference someone on the other side of the globe, being able to send documents to colleagues while on the go and being exposed to different cultures and ways of doing business all help to shape the dynamic business world we are a part of today.
For business owners, these advancements in technology and communication mean that expanding your business into foreign markets is more straightforward than it was in the past. Taking a local, homegrown company and turning it into a global business is a real possibility for business owners in today’s climate. However, while there are fewer barriers to overcome in order to start a global business, there are still some elements which need to be given due consideration.
Keep reading to learn what considerations every business owner should take before starting a global business.
Understand the Market
Before you expand overseas, it’s crucial that you fully understand your company, how it operates in the marketplace and how competitive your industry is abroad. It’s very important to set realistic and achievable goals for your company in the new market you are entering.
A great way to conduct local market research and get a feel for the industry on a global scale is with a virtual office. By gaining a local address, phone number and a dedicated receptionist in a prolific location in a new country, you can maintain a presence without having to fully commit to being in there. Contacting suppliers, local marketers and potential customers from a prestigious address they will recognize will improve the reputation of your business from the beginning.
Assess the Different Sales Channels
Bringing your product or service to a global audience doesn’t mean setting up an office in every country in the world. In fact, you may not have to set up another office anywhere new at all as your virtual office can be the port of call for customers in that area for returns, customer service, enquiries and so on.
Look into the different sales channels available to you. With the many sales platforms available online, you may be able to start a global business selling over the internet. Your website can be a fantastic international sales channel, you can sell through the big players like Amazon or eBay or potentially engage with a more local e-commerce solution that will appeal to the market in the country you are moving into.
Building an International Team
Working in different time zones, new cultures and unfamiliar business environments brings its own set of challenges. By building a diverse, international team, you can build a team that can operate in multiple time zones efficiently, so that your business is always running.
Use platforms like LinkedIn to hire directly, or consider getting in touch with a local recruitment agency that will really understand the local jobs market. Niche job boards, local newspapers and your local partners are other great ways to build a team you can rely on.
Going Global is Within Reach
Bringing your business to a global audience is more achievable than ever, however, it’s important to give some thought to certain issues that could potentially affect your chance of success in new markets.
As with any business, you need to ensure that you carry out thorough market research and do your due diligence before jumping straight in. Consider the different sales channels available to you and find one that works for you and your carefully selected international team. Once you have considered these elements and made the right decision, you can expand your business with confidence and bring your products or services to a global market.