As the world has gone online and embraced smart technology, it’s become easier than ever to explore opportunities around the world. This ability to move quickly and connect has meant that businesses of all sizes have taken the leap and grown beyond the country they’re based in.
While behemoths like Amazon have used technology to become a worldwide phenomenon, it’s possible for even the smallest startup to take the steps beyond the borders and grow business in different corners of the globe. However, if you’re a business owner who wants to harness the connectivity we have and take the steps towards setting up in other countries, there are some things to be aware of before you dive in.
Here’s a look at the key things to be aware of to help you navigate going global.
Language and cultural differences
This is hugely important. What sells in one country might not be popular in another. Plus, the way your products are described can get lost in translation.
First, you’ll need to do your research. Find out as much as you can about the country you’re thinking of launching in. what’s it like? What are the customs there?
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Next, invest in staff who speak the language and are local to the area you’re launching in. This will help to get your business off the ground as the people you hire will understand what customers are looking for and what they’re saying about what you’re selling in their country.
There will be different laws to consider and cultural differences too. But by taking the time to find out how things work there and by investing in local talent, you’re putting yourself in a good position.
The legal bit
Laws will also be different. You’ll need to understand key details such as import and export taxes, trading regulations, and whether there are specific legal documents you need to be aware of in order to be compliant.
You might also need to set up your banking and accounts for your business in the country you’re expanding to. This makes it easier to process accounts rather than having to factor in exchange rates.
To ensure you’re compliant and meeting all the rules around working visas and other details, it’s worth hiring a legal expert who can provide advice. Firms such as Withers can help you work out what needs to be done and when.
Finding your audience
Depending on the business you’re in, you may find that you have competition. If your brand is similar to one that’s established, you might need to work hard to get a foot in the door and capture your target audience.
To do this, you’ll need to be willing to change your business plan. What’s worked on home turf might not work elsewhere. You’ll likely need to try a few different things out in order to be recognized elsewhere. Get expert insight from other brands that have expanded there before you and be ready to try different tactics. For example, you might need to funnel your budget into a stronger advertising campaign or invest heavily in social media.
Wherever you’re thinking of launching next, it’s worth taking the time to work out a plan. Research what your target locations are like, get the right infrastructure in place, and go in with an open mind.