Expanding internationally is one of the main goals of many businesses. Being able to interact with customers worldwide and introducing your brand to more people is a driving force for many businesses. Unfortunately, expanding internationally isn’t as easy as many people think.
You not only have to consider where it’s best to expand to but also what you’ll need to succeed in that country. So keep reading to find out how you can expand your businesses internationally and provide services worldwide.
Set Initial Capital
There are various costs of international expansion that you have to consider before you make the jump. If you don’t have the initial capital, your expansion will be dead in the water before you even properly begin.
Each company is different, so there isn’t a fixed amount you need to cover your international expansion. This is why you need to do your research and thoroughly consider all the possible expenses you might encounter.
You don’t want to accidentally plan for everything but then forget that you’ll need to pay a registration fee. While a registration fee won’t break the bank, these small costs you forget about all add up.
Take a look to see if there are any financial incentives for businesses expanding into certain areas. Many markets and governments want to boost their economies by incentivizing new businesses to come to their location.
If a financial opportunity is available to you, you should consider taking advantage of it. Just make sure you thoroughly research the opportunity to know exactly what you’re committing to.
Consider the Language
English is the default language for many new companies, especially in English-speaking countries. While 20% of the world speaks English, you have to consider adding other languages; you’re missing out on a large group of potential customers. Many people will avoid websites that aren’t in their home language, especially in smaller towns and more rural areas.
Most websites have the option to let Google translate the website, so you don’t have to add every single language to your site. This is useful if there are various languages spoken in the same region. But auto-translating a website isn’t as effective as hiring translation services to translate your website thoroughly.
This is less of an issue if you’re expanding into an English-speaking country. Whoever, you should also look at the secondary language spoken in the area. This way, you can cover all your bases and ensure your new customers can interact with you in their chosen language.
The same principle applies to the reverse situation. If your website isn’t in English, you should consider adding it, as it is such a broadly understood language. This will also allow more international customers to browse your website online and order even if they aren’t located in the area you’re expanding to.
Use International Talent
One of the best ways to ensure your expansion goes well is to employ local talent. These international hires will help you turn your expansion into a success. Not only does this broaden your talent pool, but hiring locals will help you understand your customer base better.
An in-country team also means time differences are a thing of the past. If your customers require assistance, your in-country team will be able to assist them immediately.
It’s important that you talk to and listen to your new hires. Explain the company values and your goals to them; they can offer feedback on what they think will be the best way to market your business to the locals. An expatriate employee might not be able to pick up on the cultural norms of that country the same way a local hire can.
Expatriating employees also comes with a lot of issues. Hiring locals may have its own hurdles, but you can avoid a lot of red tape by not expatriating employees.
You also might not make the best impression on the locals if you don’t hire anyone from the country. One of the reasons people support business expansions is because it brings more opportunities to their area. By expatriating employees, you’re filling these opportunities before you give anyone else a chance.
When you’re expanding, you need to build relationships with local businesses and customers alike. Local businesses can give you the inside scoop on industry trends and practices that the country uses. This is something that you possibly would never know about otherwise.
If you burn bridges, it will be difficult to get the locals to trust your company. Take the time to introduce yourself and your company to competitors and possible business partners alike.
You can also consider adding a partner to your company from the country. This way, you have someone tied to your company that knows the area and how people think. They’ll share the burden and help you make a success out of your expansion.
Expand Businesses Internationally
Whether you’re just considering all your options or you’ve already started to expand your businesses internationally, it’s important that you have a strategy. The way you grow your business at home won’t work in every country. You need to set international expansion goals and figure out how you’ll really meet them.
Expanding internationally gives you the opportunity to consider hiring international talent. This broadens your application pool in the future, so there’s no reason not to expand!
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