If you run a successful business in your home country, you may have an idea of expanding it abroad and making it international. This is certainly a large step, with plenty of good and bad sides and possible obstacles you will encounter. In this article, we will present you some of the most important things to have in mind when you decide that you want to take your business global.
Before taking the big step, you need to ask yourself several questions and think about certain aspects of going global. Firstly, think about whether your products are likely to sell well in the other country, since different cultures may have different needs, preferences and even laws which may affect your sales and the overall success of your brand. Secondly, think about whether the target market is already familiar with your business and your offer. If this is not the case, keep in mind that you will need to invest a lot of money and effort on advertising and possibly even consumer education. Then, think about whether you feel comfortable in the target country. As the business owner, you will need to work and communicate with the people from the target country, and possibly even live there for a while in the first stages of company development. Therefore, make sure that you are familiar with their culture, customs and language before you make a move. Last but not least, think about the infrastructure of the target country, because it determines the reliability of supplies delivery, production and much more.
If after all this you decide that it is time to export your product, it is time for the next step. Assuming you have performed a thorough market research and familiarized yourself with the market conditions of the target country, you should start a business spreading campaign.
Once you hit the international market, it is important to make business moves according to the culture in which you do the business. This implies pretty much everything you would do in your home country – build relationships with your clients and associates, be flexible, learn to understand body language and dress professionally. In case you do not know the language well enough, it is advisable to bring your own translator.
As international expansion of business needs financing, you can ask the Import-Export Bank for help. They will guarantee working capital loans, but also credit insurance which protects the exporter in case the foreign buyer does not pay. The Im-Ex Bank offers a great deal of trade services for the exporters, and they will finance all types of goods and services as long as they are not military-related.
Last but not least, once you have expanded the business overseas, it is important to find a reliable foreign distributor. Assess the distributor based on their area of expertise, recommendations and references, and choose the one who best fits your area of business.