Do you run a small business that thrives and generates considerable revenue? It might be time to expand it into global markets. And before you say no out of fear, learn that it’s not as impossible as you imagine. If you take into account some aspects and adopt the right habits, it’s actually very achievable.
Today’s world is closely connected due to advanced infrastructure and technology. So, given these potentials, numerous entrepreneurs have gone global and expanded their business overseas. International expansion can push your company further, luring a new market of consumers your products or services can serve. Besides, it enables businesses to keep developing and finding ways to survive in this vast marketplace. International markets are undoubtedly part of your roadmap to success, even if you’re just a shy start-up or a small business, as globalization is flourishing and, hence, foreign markets are no longer that foreign. This phenomenon has opened opportunities for various organizations to expand their services and sell beyond barriers.
The pace of outsourcing and globalized trade is accelerating as increasingly more companies have taken their operations overseas. It’s, indeed, a wise approach, but it’s useful to know that transformation won’t happen in a minute, day, or month. You’ll have to shape a new business model to support this change, form international partnerships, and research the target country’s language and culture.
Here’s what you can do for a smooth, successful transition:
Research your overseas market
Before making any move, it’s advisable to research the target country and have a clear vision of its culture and market conditions. Cultural discrepancies play a crucial role in international expansion, as one product or service appreciated in one country may not be the same across international boundaries. So, it’s not just about the language, which can be an impediment, but also about these cultural disparities. You don’t want your product to feel like an intruder but rather an insider. You have to change some aspects of your business, develop a practical transition strategy, and be patient. If possible, send a team of experts to different parts of the globe to assess the ground and observe the culture, implicitly spend some time with the locals and learn what differentiates them from your national customers.
Be ready to ship anywhere on the globe
You can take your business to the next level not just by expanding to another country physically but by being able to ship anywhere in the world. If you recognize your product value to the foreign market and have a clear vision of the target culture, you can proceed with shipping your goods internationally. The number of shoppers purchasing from sellers across international borders has increased considerably during the last couple of years, so you can be one of those selling beyond barriers, too.
Prepare your products
For the international expansion to be a success, your products or services should have all the processing, and regulatory requirements met. All the efforts to gain insights into the target market’s language, culture, and selling conditions would be in vain if, eventually, there’s something that holds you back from expanding into that market. You must have heard about the legend of the Chevy Nova that wouldn’t go in Latin America because Nova is actually it doesn’t go in Spanish. Although it’s a mere urban legend, it’s a lesson for any entrepreneur planning to send their products overseas.
Remember also that trademarking is crucial when expanding globally. Since copyrights, patents, and trademarks vary from country to country, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of these peculiarities before selling on a new market. Unlicensed copies could not only impact your bottom line but also instill customer doubt.
Find proper transportation for your goods
Expanding internationally also involves shipping your goods to foreign markets. So, be sure you pick adequate transportation for your products. You have to be mindful of the nature and the amount of your goods, as well as the demand for your products in the target countries. Shipping beyond boundaries also requires being abreast of transport restrictions and regulations, so ensure you thoroughly inform yourself about this matter before sending your goods to any transport provider out there or to any country.
Once your products meet all the essential requirements, consider looking for a reputable logistics carrier to legally and safely transport your goods from one land to another. You should also have a robust logistics strategy in place to determine the mode of transportation you’ll leverage, examine the structural components of your supply chain, and identify the amount of products you should send abroad. If you’re a small business that sells, let’s say, customized t-shirts and hoodies and wonder about the quantity of goods a transportation service provider finds suitable, learn that there are LTL shippers (Less than Load) that can help in this sense. LTL means any freight that is too small for an entire truck but too large to send through the post. In some unfortunate cases, businesses can’t sell their goods because of this matter, but thanks to this kind of service, they no longer have to worry, neither do you.
Learn finance and compliance regulations
When expanding internationally, you need to consider more than the target market’s culture and language but also regulations. If you’re about to franchise or go global, you need to comply with the specific laws of that country. It may help to hire a team that can conduct proper research in this sense so that your transition is under the regulatory procedures of the target market. It may also be useful to partner with local banking institutions to understand how profits work in foreign economies and adequately deal with cash flow in these particular markets. Local banks can help with finance and profit management, and this will be needed, especially if you repatriate currency.
So, be sure you have a local legal team by your side to help you navigate industry-specific regulations and go through this.
Expanding your business and selling across borders isn’t that far from reality. With today’s actual globalization status, anything is possible, but be sure you’re mindful of the facts mentioned in this article.