5 Tips for Taking Your Business International


If you own a business, it’s likely that you are focused on expanding it here at home. But do you know that the world’s largest consumer markets are outside of the United States? Entrepreneurs who fail to consider reaching the global market miss out on major growth opportunities.

From the customs and cultures in various nations to the different international business protocols, there are unique challenges that you are likely to face when you expand your business internationally. With the right techniques, however, it’s possible to expand your enterprise exponentially. Below are five tips for taking a business international.

Research Widely on Target Markets

Regardless of how well your enterprise is doing in the U.S., your pitch needs to be adjusted when entering new markets to ensure you are meeting the local standards. Ask yourself these questions before making your move:

• Is the target market you are eyeing familiar with your brand or the services you are selling?
• Will the target culture embrace your product?
• Is the infrastructure of that region ideal for your kind of business?

Notice that your aim here is not just about the distribution channels or the international banks, but the culture you are extending your business to. What tone are you setting to help the residents understand your business? A precise pitch should get your message across efficiently. Doing proper market research allows you to set expectations and stay away from surprises.

Build Relationships

After completing your research, you’ll be familiar with the customs and cultures of the new market you plan to enter. From there, build meaningful relationships that will help your business thrive. The success of a firm in emerging markets relies on the competency of its system and its network of local stakeholders and supporters.

Most investors underestimate the power of community networking. They also fail to see how greatly it can boost their company’s bottom line and determine its longevity in the marketplace. Understand that consumers and retailers have become more discerning and demanding. With the increase in supplies and choices, they no longer have to settle.

More than anything, they expect brands to invest in building relationships with them and look forward to a long-lasting rapport that begins before they decide to do business with you. It means that relationships should start in the marketing phase, long before money changes hands. Remember to learn a few pointers about the country, have an interpreter, and understand body language.

Understand Regional Laws

You must understand the regional regulations before trying to reach a global market. For instance, advertising your products may first need approval from certain governing bodies. In many countries, for example, pharmaceutical products must first be approved by the country’s health ministry.

Also, certain promotional tactics such as premium offers face different regulations across the globe, meaning that before running them, you need to be sure they are not conflicting with the local laws.

Develop a Solid Business Plan

Whether you plan to become a global powerhouse or simply supplement your domestic sales, a strong business plan must be considered. This is the most important document as it can either boost your ROI or drag your business down.

Remember that global markets vary by region, which means you need to review and adjust your business plan accordingly. You may need to look at government and commercial statistics, prompting you to conduct internet searches to generate relevant information.

It may also be necessary to take an extra step to explore different sources such as telephone directories, density maps, statistical compilations, and catalogs.

Have an understanding of what is happening in your market in terms of trends and the influence they have on your market segment. You can only create a solid business plan by being clear about the trends of the market you are targeting.

Spread Brand Awareness

Once you have identified an international market, spread brand awareness. Remember your brand is the full meaning behind your company’s logo, symbols, name, and slogans. You are facing the global market, so be careful with the message you send out there as what may appear charming in the U.S. may be misunderstood in a different region. Your message should be relevant to the specific needs and wants of every market.

Also, maintain your brand reputation in every market, remembering that you are just starting to make a promise that you expect consumers to embrace. Get into the global market with the aim of disrupting, and incorporate the tactics that made your home customer base to love your product.

By following these five tips, it is possible to move your business more nimbly through the precarious waters of global expansion. Your firm will also be more successful and strategic when you make the move. In fact, expanding your enterprise internationally can be a major platform to increase your profits. Knowing the operations and expectations of each region prepares your business for success on an international level.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.