Doing business around the world can seem like an impossible dream if you’re still just operating in your hometown. However, every year, small businesses make the leap and go global. Like most long journeys, taking your business global can be simplified into a series of steps. Here are the basic steps to take help you go global.
- Start your campaign to grow into an international business by preparing the right business plan. This plan should evaluate your needs and set your goals. It’s important to assess how ready you are and commit to the growth you need before you start. Your plan should cover demand in other markets for what you can offer, how you will deal with local culture, and the basics like taking the time to compare freight quotes, so you know how to ship your products abroad.
- Do plenty of research into the foreign market, and find international markets for your products or services. There are lots of great resources available online with information about trading abroad.
- Evaluate the different methods for distributing your product abroad, and select the right ones for you. You can choose between a wide variety of means for distributing your product, including opening a foreign subsidiary or working with local agents and distributors in a joint venture.
- Learn how to set prices, negotiate deals, and navigate the legal challenges of exporting. Your legal team will be invaluable, and a local expert can help a lot. The difference between the economy, law, culture, and social expectations can make doing business abroad a challenge for business owners who have only operated in their own country. The decision to grow internationally means doing a lot of research first.
- Find out government and private sources of financing are available. Growing internationally isn’t cheap, so make sure you are still getting paid. Financing can be a challenge, but many governments are interested in boosting exporting, so if you can show that you’re innovating then there may be funding available to help you.
- To move your goods onto the international market, you will need to make sure that you package and label everything in accordance with local regulations in the new market you are selling in. Regulations are different everywhere, particularly around claims on packaging, and things like listing ingredients. Make sure you’ve got it right, and have checked things like brand or product names for accidental double meanings in the local language to save embarrassment.
- Make sure you are actually able to operate your finances globally. That could involve knowing how to work in different marketplaces, and being aware of the important differences in currencies. You might need to open a USD bank account, for instance, to ensure that you are able to be a truly global company.
Selling abroad can be very profitable, giving you a much larger potential market for your business, giving you more potential to earn money. You can also be less dependent on your home market, giving you a backup if an economic downturn hits at home, or in one of your markets. By entering the global marketplace, you’ll be competing against completely different companies, which will force your business and you as a business owner to grow and develop to a whole new level, making both of you stronger than ever before.