Expanding your business overseas will provide you with a unique opportunity to broaden your target audience and increase your profits.
However, while a global expansion can be an ideal option for generating higher revenues, this shouldn’t drag attention away from the various challenges that businesses typically face when expanding abroad.
If you’d like to take your product or services into a foreign market, you will need a solid expansion strategy in order to improve your chances of success.
Before you begin tapping into new international markets, it’s important to consider these important factors in your strategies.
While you might be set on moving your business to a particular country or city in the world, it doesn’t always mean that the people there are going to be interested in what you have to offer.
Before you choose where to move your business, it’s important to conduct market research in a few areas of interest to you and go with the one where you are likely to get the most custom.
After all, moving your business to a different country is not going to succeed if there is no need or demand for the product or service that you offer.
It’s important to think about what it’s going to take to operate your business overseas. Are you going to need to open a physical location? Will you need equipment and materials?
Will you need to ship products to customers? If your business is operating from a physical store you will need to come up with a plan for obtaining the resources that you need and keeping inventory at your new location.
You’ll also need to consider how you will ensure that basic operational necessities like Wi-Fi, telephone, and utility bills will be taken care of.
For some businesses, setting up in an overseas co-working space might be a more ideal option for starting out compared to renting or purchasing your own office space, as this allows you to take some of the focus off logistics and place more focus on growing your business in the new location.
If you are going to be selling products or services in a different currency, it’s important to gain some knowledge on how to appropriately price your products and services.
Bear in mind that depending on the country you have decided to move your business to, certain products and services might be typically cheaper or more expensive compared to how they are priced at home, and you will need to take this into account.
It is also worth looking into banking options in your new location that will make it easier to manage the money that you make from your overseas location, particularly as converting other currencies into US dollars is not free and can add up to be a huge expense over time.
Be sure to include conversion costs when coming up with your pricing strategy.
It’s not just about what you know in business – who you know can also be very important, especially when expanding your company overseas.
Making contacts with relevant industry leaders in the country or countries that you are considering moving your business to can be a very helpful strategy.
Getting some key contacts in the location you plan to expand to can help you with getting answers to your questions, providing helpful resources, and they may even be able to introduce you to other individuals and brands that might be influential in helping you succeed.
This is another reason why co-working spaces are an ideal option for starting out when moving your business overseas since they tend to be ideal places to meet key industry stakeholders, future clients, and other key professionals to build your network in your new location.
Moving your business over to a new country will require you to learn about a new culture that is likely to be somewhat different from your own.
How things are done in your new location may vary a little or a lot compared to what you are used to at home depending on the country that you have expanded to.
Learning about the culture of your new location gives you a chance to determine how the locals there may perceive your brand and if you will need to make any changes in order to better fit in and appeal to your target market there.
Find out everything that you can about local values, traditions, holidays, religions, and any other key cultural differences that may affect the way you do business.
Research income data and cost of living to make it easier for you to determine an optimal price point for your product and whether or not it will be viable for your business.
Chances are that expanding your business into another country means that you’re going to need to hire some local employees to keep things running smoothly there, especially if you plan to be holding the fort from at home.
Consider how you plan to staff your new location and take key differences into accounts such as local expected employee benefits, the education levels and experience of the local market, and expected salaries.
You may also want to consider relocating some willing employees from your home country to work overseas. One good option when hiring overseas employees is to work with a PEO or professional employer organization.
This provider, New Horizons Global Partners, offers a Taiwan recruitment agency, as well as recruitment agencies in several other countries around the world, to help you attract and recruit the best talent to support your business expansion.
Language barriers can be one of the biggest challenges that your global expansion strategy can face. If you don’t speak the local language this is going to make it more difficult for you to research the market, hire employees, and market your products or services to your target audience.
This is another area where working with a PEO can be very useful as they will usually offer employees who are either natives to the country where you are moving to or people who can speak the local language and act as a translator for you and your team.
Bear in mind that you will need the services of a translator for not only helping with verbal conversations but your website, content, social media and more.
What works for marketing your products and services at home might not be so effective in another country, so it’s important to tailor your marketing strategies to attract your new audience.
Sometimes the smallest of mistakes can have a huge impact on your marketing – and ultimately the sales of your products. For example, Gerber didn’t do very well selling baby food in Ethiopia.
The company put images of babies on the jars but they didn’t realize that due to the low literacy rate in this country, food jars typically show images of what’s inside.
It’s important to ensure that you are tailoring your marketing to the local audience; do plenty of research beforehand to figure out what’s going to speak to your target market the most.
Expanding your business into a new country can be a very exciting prospect. But before you start, keep these factors in mind to boost your chance of success.