How to Successfully Expand your Business Internationally

Your business may have started as a small, local business, but there’s nothing that says it needs to remain that way forever. In this globalised world, it’s never been easier to look beyond the shore, and make your products and services available to foreign markets. But as with every other business decision, this is something that needs to be handled with attention and care. Below, we take a look at some of the essential steps you’ll need to take. All going well, you’ll have a successful international business!


Conduct Market Research

You will have conducted market research before you began the process of creating your company, but when you’re looking overseas? Then it becomes even more important. You won’t just be looking to see what kinds of people you should be marketing your products and services to; you need to first establish whether there is any demand whatsoever. What works in the United States might be considered too outlandish in, say, England or other parts of Europe. If, after your research, you find that there’s a market for what you offer, then you’ll be able to proceed.

Connect with Local Businesses

You’re unlikely to pitch up in a foreign country and make it successful all on your own. You’re going to need to work with a local business, which will be able to give you access to insider knowledge, marketing tips, distribution help, and so on. To do this, you’re best travelling to your potential overseas market, and connecting with other businesses in person. If it’s not an English-speaking country, make sure you’re working with interpreter services; you don’t want a key part of your business proposal to be lost in translation! Of course, this relationship should be mutually beneficial, so make sure you’re ready to offer terms that are attractive to the other business, too.

Recognise Cultural Differences

Every country on earth is different to your own, even though they may, on paper, seem pretty similar. What might work in America might seem unusual in Canada, Australia, or Britain, for example. As such, you’ll be well served by investigating the key cultural differences between your home country and the one in which you intend to do business. The last thing you want is to accidentally offend the local population, or show that you’re not sensitive to how they live their life.

Be aware of Legal Matters

It is comparatively straightforward to grow into new markets, but that doesn’t mean you’re just about to do what you want. There are legal parameters within which you have to work. Before trading, make sure you’re fully aware of all the legal requirements you need to meet, as some countries have more paperwork that needs to be completed than others.

Start Small

You should attempt to start small when it comes to taking your business international. It’ll be more work than you realize; and while growth can be exciting, it’s possible to grow too much. Start small, find your feet, and then look at expanding further.

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