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By: Anson Zong-Liscum
The business world is growing beyond national borders and expanding across whole continents. With the exabytes of information, advanced technology, and distant communication abilities available today businesses no longer have as many initial obstacles to struggle through. The internet has dramatically changed the whole method of doing business in another form that was unknown twenty years ago. With this incredibly growing technology international business is something every business can spin into its’ future plans.
However, expanding a business to a whole new culture and foreign atmosphere doesn’t mean instant success, nor does it mean you will find success. There are a number of criterion and skill sets needed in order to even find this hint of success. Many business never take the time to look and dig deeper into these areas. In many cases if a business would just do some basic research they could find themselves sailing away in a treasure loaded ship instead of sitting in a slowly sinking boat headed nowhere.
I have gathered up 10 tips for you that I believe could benefit you and your company tremendously. They may seem very minimal to your overall international business strategy that you’ve probably spend hours upon months working on. Take a few minutes and see what I have to offer to you.
1. Basic Research: This many seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many business skip this and blindingly go into a country with no realistic expectations on how the country operates. Check out the basic business background of the country and see if it is a market for your products.
2. Understand the Culture: Take some time and actually look at how people handle themselves in different situations and go about with their everyday actions. This is not like home. Things are done differently and people have drastically different cultures that your used to.
3. Learn Basics of the Country’s Language: I shouldn’t have to go further here. People will hold you to a higher value if you make an effort to communicate with them through their native languages. Take a glance at my blog post related to this topic.
4. Develop Connections Within the Foreign Country: Having a personal business connection in the foreign country can help tremendously in a number of essential areas. Try and develop some strong relationships to build upon and branch out your network to further help establish yourself in the region.
5. Do Your financial Calculations: Does going into this foreign market seem realistic and profitable in the long run? Will you generate enough revenue to sustain yourself and be able to hold yourself against competitors during times of struggle?
6. Look at the Competitor Landscape: Odds are you aren’t the first within your industry to land on this country’s soil. Once again, research. See who your up against in the market and how you will have to uniquely market yourself to the consumer market. Learn from their mistakes.
7. Government Regulations: Government’s have a dramatic influence on the business culture within their respective countries. See what kind of taxes are enforced, what types of incentives may be earned by opening a business, and your industry specific regulations.
8. Currency: Look at the history of the currency and see how it has fluctuated during different economical periods of the business world. How has its value held up and how will you price your products? Will people’s income ratios be strong enough to buy your products and how will your prices compare on an international comparison landscape?
9. Import/Export: Look at trade barrier’s and restrictions for the country. Many materials needed for developing your products and your finished products will have to be brought in or shipped. Become clear with the trade regulations and make sure it works in your favor.
10. Set Ambitious Goals: Develop a mindset of achieving great things in a new foreign market. It can be done and if you do many of the simple things such as the ones I listed above you should find yourself sailing a few miles ahead of your competitors.
You can become successful.