Expanding a business is an exciting yet stressful time for any business owner. There are a million things that you need to remember and it only gets harder when you are trying to expand internationally. Whether this is for a single country or multiple countries, chances are that if you haven’t got any experience in this field, you are going to need some help. When a business has dominated its country, it is only natural to move further and bigger. One of the best tips when trying to internationalise a business is to take your time and check twice before committing. For it to go successfully, these simple tips can help you on your journey to internationalising your business.
Speak To A Credit Insurance Broker
First things first, you are going to want to have some protection before you do anything, especially when you are trying to expand your business internationally. For you to successfully expand your business overseas, you are going to need the relevant insurance for your industry, needs or circumstances. Speaking to a reputable credit insurance broker can sit you down and have a thorough conversation regarding your credit insurance policy and will guide you on what you will need and how to do it.
Once you have credit insurance, your business will be protected against any unforeseen happenings and bad debtors who can’t pay, won’t pay or have become insolvent. This allows you to get on with the more important parts of the business.
Funding and Customers
One of the first things that should be happening is to determine whether you can afford to do the expansion from a local to national to international. For you to have a successful expansion, you need to ensure that your customers are loyal enough and big enough to support you through the transition so that you don’t lose your existing customers. You will more than likely need extra funding for this expansion as you will need all the tools and equipment to hit the ground running. This funding will also be used for other expenses such as salary, translations, licences, running casts and everything else that you are going to need for the expansion.
English is the official business language, but many countries will use the language of their region to conduct business and issue legal documents. There are literally thousands of different languages in the world so it is impossible for someone to be fluent in each. This is why it is so important to hire a trustworthy translator who can translate accurately, no matter the industry you are in. Not only is having a reputable translator important for documents and communicating with other businesses, but you will also need their help when creating the website for that country so that your written content is accurate and speaks like that country.
Localisation is about making your website and advertising campaigns suitable for different countries. Localisation changes the features of the website so that your website and ads comply and fit with the culture of the country you are expanding to. This will prevent anyone from being insulted by what you say as well as save misunderstandings.
Finding The Right Partners
To have a successful expansion to another country, you are going to need a team or a contact in the locations that you are wanting to expand to. This is important for so many reasons. Firstly, you can’t be at two places at once, so you are going to need someone you trust to be to be at that location so they can deal with any issues that may arise and keep you up to date on the general operations. Having a team at each location will help to keep things running smoothly whilst you are not there.
Tax & Employment Regulations
It is no secret that some countries have stricter regulations for employees and taxes. The UK are extremely strict on health and safety at work whereas other countries may not be as strict on employee welfare. Some countries are very contradictory in their regulations as different regions may have different regulations. If these regulations arent met, or you have looked into them yet, then this could be drastic. Ensure that you are abiding by the selected countries’ rules and regulations so you don’t get any unwanted surprises like a fine.
Marketing is an obvious thing to be considering, and you probably already know that what works in your country, may not exactly work in other countries. You may also find out that some countries are far behind in some marketing techniques. For example, although Australia is a developed country, they are seriously behind in the digital marketing technique of search engine optimisation. Language plays a huge role in advertising, so if you are going to set an ad live, you need to ensure that it doesn’t come off offensive in the country you are advertising in. For best results, you may want to hire a local marketing agency so that you can reach potential customers in the best light possible.
If you are a business that creates or sells products and is planning on expanding internationally, then you are going to need to ensure you have a well-planned fulfilment strategy so that you can deal with the influx in sales. This means you need enough to fulfil your current country’s fulfilment as well as your new country. You will also need to send over spare parts and tools if the products need fixing or replacing. You will also need fast and reliable logistics so that you don’t keep your customers waiting.
Just like your fulfilment, your packaging needs careful consideration. Different regulations will be in place for different countries so it is vital that your packaging meets that country’s regulations. Sustainability is a huge part of modern life and has now been entwined with everyday business so it is vital that your packaging is sustainable among other things. Become familiar with the packaging regulations of the country that you are trading in. An example of this would be if you were selling cigarettes, the packaging needs to have a disclaimer on the packaging. Other products will need disclaimers too.
When you are looking to branch out overseas, you are going to want to determine whether the project is viable for that country. Exchange rates fluctuate massively which increases risk as you won’t be able to align prices with the international exchange rate. If there are huge fluctuations, you could find out that you are actually selling your product at a loss which will quickly end your expansion.
The other risk with expanding overseas is the fact that many countries don’t allow you to take profits out of the country which could make things hard when you need to use that money to meet financial obligations outside of that given country such as for importing your products etc.
Internationalising your business is an exciting time, but it can be extremely confusing and frustrating at times. To reduce mistakes, take your time and do it properly so you don’t mee any unwanted surprises down the line.