Once you have conquered your home market, what should you do? Set your sights overseas! That’s an obvious answer, anyway. Indeed, by pursuing international growth, you can give existing products a new lease of sales life and spread your company’s risk exposure across a range of markets.
However, mining meaningful returns from overseas markets can require you to first overcome various challenges. Here are 5 of the most common obstacles to global corporate success;
1. Understanding another market
However popular your product might be in its native market, you shouldn’t be too quick to assume that people in another market will, as soon as they clap eyes on the product, see what all of the fuss is about. This is why carrying out thorough research into the new market can really pay off.
As you research, you might notice – for example – that lactose intolerances are particularly common in that market. Hence, expanding the availability of your cheese pizza to it might not bode well.
2. Getting to grips with another business culture
This isn’t quite the same as understanding the market; it’s about knowing the tricky, sometimes subtle differences in how people routinely do business in countries other than the UK.
If you adhere to their rules rather than expect them to bend to yours, you can anticipate better results.
To this end, before getting down to business with a particular business contact, work on establishing a relationship with them, the Entrepreneur site advises. Don’t skip the small talk.
3. Becoming comfortable in another country
You might think that expanding to another country would be possible through just delegating responsibilities to people who already live there and so understand the native culture.
Yes, that is an option in the long term. However, in the early stages of your expansion, you might have to spend some time living in that other country to help in getting the chain off the ground.
Once various outposts are established across a number of countries, you could easily communicate with staff in those different premises through using a VoIP solution for businesses.
4. Learning another language
If you have often attempted to learn another language only to feel frustrated as the information keeps failing to sink in, your heart probably sank as you cast your eyes on this part of the article.
However, when moving into a market where the main language isn’t English, you can’t expect people to switch to English just for doing business with you. Instead, you should be the one with the obligation to learn the language of your potential customers or clients.
5. Adhering to tax codes and other legal rules
Each country into which you are considering expanding could have its own distinct set of tax codes, corporate regulations and even packaging standards, Business News Daily warns.
Keeping abreast with all of these rules – which, we should remind you, could go through subtle changes during your time trading in these markets – can add an extra layer of complexity. However, you must be willing to rise to this challenge if you want to expand your business overseas..
More on growing your business
ByteStart is packed with help and tips on all aspects of starting and growing your own business. Check out some of our most popular guides;
- 10 Do’s and Don’ts of writing a business plan
- 10 Advantages running your business as a limited company has over being a sole trader
- How to set up a limited company
- Which types of insurance must your business have?
Going for growth
- 5 Steps to kick-starting growth in your business
- How finding a great mentor could help you to grow, and your business to flourish
- The 4 Rs of getting more business from your existing customer base
- Barriers to growth – how to identify them and how to overcome them
Funding your business
- What to do when the bank says “NO”
- A Guide to ‘Alternative Finance’ – the new funding options for startups and small businesses
- How to get investors to back your crowdfunding campaign
- How to maximise your chances of securing a small business loan
- Invoice Finance – What is it and how can it help my business?
- The way to get paid – 12-Step Action Plan to stop customers from paying you late
- A Guide to business credit cards and using them as a short term funding solution
- 10 Late payment excuses used by customers – and how to deal with them