In the beginning, the only aim was to avoid going out of business. Almost 80% of companies fail, so keeping the doors open is a huge achievement. After a while, you realize you are one of the lucky few and are making money. What a surprise. Then, the business gets bigger and bigger to the point where there is a national audience. People are standing up and taking notice at home, and there is no reason they won’t abroad either.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to go global. Expansion into foreign markets is a surefire sign of a great brand. All the best companies are synonymous with quality from Silicon Valley to Timbuktu, and you might be about to join the club.
There is a slight issue – international trading is tough. Unfortunately, the game is different and you have to understand the rules before engaging. Here are five tips which should help.
Learn The Language
As an English-speaker, the odds are high that you aren’t bi or multilingual. It’s not a problem because English is the international language, right? Yes, it is but a lot gets lost in translation when a client’s linguistic skills are mediocre. And, there are the developing countries which don’t follow this rule such as China. By learning the basics, you can communicate properly without a barrier. Also, the words will teach you a lot about the culture and how to act to secure business.
Obviously, speaking adequately takes time, which is where a fluent attorney or business partner comes in handy. They can take care of the fine details and translate so that you can thrash out a deal. To stay in the loop and avoid confusion, you should focus on lessons. It’s impressive and less costly as you won’t need to pay for a translator.
Beat Local Rivals
An easy mistake to make is to assume everything translates. You sell products in your home country without any issues, so it isn’t going to be different abroad. Then, you realize there is a saturated market and you’re at a massive disadvantage. Not only do they have the history and brand loyalty, but they don’t have to mess around with dual currencies. Local rivals are always one step ahead of the game.
It goes without saying marketing is going to be the key. Start distributing creative and smart ads before the move is done to gauge the demand for the company. A marketing scheme based on conquering the industry might work. Next, try and forge relationships with local firms to cut shipping and logistics costs. Finally, fill in your knowledge gaps.
There is a well-known company that expanded into the Australian market a long time ago. In the US, this brand was a titan and it was also one of the top brands in the world. So, expanding into the land down under made sense. All the small print was accounted for and the green light was given. When they landed, there was a problem: the name was already taken.
Hence, Burger King in Aus is known as Hungry Jacks. There will be hiccups, but you can mitigate them by doing thorough research. Check out which licenses are necessary, how much taxes will cost, and the potential for copyright infringement. Like BK, you might have to buy out the name to avoid market confusion.
Leaks happen and there are apart of life these days. Whereas IT technicians can get them back at home, it’s a different story abroad. The rules and regulations might be different, or there can be hostility to outsiders. Either way, the authorities can crack down and make life difficult. Think Uber in London.
Even worse, a genuine mistake might result in exile from the country. Residents of India, an emerging market, need to show their Aadhaar card as proof of identity. When you can’t get into the nation to oversee the expansion, things are bound to go wrong. Thankfully, you can read this article and learn how to get it back. As a rule, you should make backups and make them accessible from anywhere in the world.
Hiring New People
Recruiting employees is a risk. You don’t know if you can trust them or whether they’ll fit into the firm. Plus, there are the added costs of paying their wages. Still, the expansion won’t stick without the human resources.
As well as focusing on what skills you need in this new environment, think about outsourcing to a local agency.
Why wouldn’t they know how to find the people you need to grow in your new surroundings?