When your business expands into overseas markets, don't fall victim to common problems.
The growth of your company can be very exciting, and each new milestone you hit can seem like a fantastic triumph that you can't wait to get to. However, patience can be a virtue for the savvy entrepreneur. This is especially true when it comes to overseas expansion.
When the time comes for you to think about expanding your business internationally, it is extremely important that you don't rush into anything. If you do, you could end up falling victim to one of the many common problems companies face when moving overseas, which could end up ruining your big moment.
The first thing you need to do is become very familiar with the customs, traditions and culture of the country you are moving into, possibly even hiring one or two people to advise you on the topic. This may seem like a lot of effort just to keep the locals happy, but it can be vital to ensure your business is a success.
In countries such as France or Japan, for example, your company will be expected to adapt to the local culture. If you do not take steps to make your product more relevant and appealing to your new consumer base, then you could end up alienating yourself from the market you are trying to break into.
On the other hand, you might find that the country you are expanding into is very open to new cultures, or to your own specifically, and you will barely need to adapt at all. This knowledge can end up saving you money in many areas, from translation to marketing.
Of course, you will need to make sure you have reliable connections in the local labour market and supply chain before you take any steps towards moving your business overseas. Finding international talent can be difficult, and you will need to be sure that the people you employ are skilled, trustworthy and reliable.
If you are not familiar with the international employment market, this can lead to problems. A good tip is to look for trustworthy institutions, such as educational establishments, and hire people leaving from them. This should help you establish a good workforce.
Of course, none of this will work if you aren't able to effectively communicate with your new international employees. Telephones and emails are fine at home, but have their flaws when used for overseas expansion. Calling other countries can be incredibly expensive, and you don't want to be waiting for an all-important email at a crucial stage in the move.
You can deal with these problems by investing in technology such as VoIP. This internet-based service allows calls to be made over the internet, which means you don't have to pay any extra for them. They will be as cheap as emailing, but allow instantaneous communication so you can keep on top of all the steps you will be taking in order to move.
If you can remember all of these issues, you should be able to expand your firm internationally with few problems. As always, the main thing you need to do is stay as prepared as possible.
For more information on expanding internationally, you can download VoIPstudio's white paper on the topic here.