doing business globally

Growing a business is a daunting thing to do. Many business owners and entrepreneurs are struggling to expand their business abroad. They are trying to discover the overseas markets in their relevant industry and make international sales. The digital world has made it easier for businesses to approach international customers.

If you are running a business, you would know that growing and doing business globally is quite complex and risky. You need to consider many things before expanding your business internationally. Many people dream of having a global business, but very few succeed in building an international business.

You have come to the right place if you are also thinking of expanding your business to international markets. This post will discuss what you need to keep in mind before expanding your business internationally. Whether you are entering a single new country or multiple countries, these things will need to be considered to avoid failures.

Before we begin, we would like to mention that you need a comprehensive business plan to start doing business abroad. This is separate from the things we will discuss below. Without a clearly drafted business plan, the other considerations will not be beneficial, and your efforts can go haywire. As part of preparing this business plan, you must research the specifics of each country or region you want to enter. Look into things like the country’s culture, language barriers, industry trends, the lifestyle of citizens, pricing strategies used by the other players in the industry, and so on.

If you want to build a global business, you have to face so many challenges that it is critical to prepare yourself thoroughly before taking practical steps. If you fail, you might end up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. If that happens, it will not only be a financial loss but will also damage your brand image, further reducing your chances of success in the future.

Testimonials of a digital services providing company that has successfully gone global

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This post will serve as a guide that will help you prepare for expanding your business internationally. Without any further ado, let’s move on to 10 things you need to consider as part of your preparation for doing business globally.

10 Things to Consider Before Expanding Your Business Internationally

Here are 10 things to keep in mind before going global and taking your business abroad.

1. Affordability

Among the most important things to consider for doing business globally are the costs you will incur and whether or not you can afford them. Taking your business abroad comes with a variety of additional expenses. You will need to spend on your office space in the country you penetrate, on the customs, the shipping, the manufacturing, and traveling. These costs will vary depending on the countries you choose.

Some of these costs are unique to international expansion. For example, customs are specific to international business expansion. Other costs are country-specific. Bribery, for instance, is considered standard practice in some countries to get things done faster. The best way to be guided appropriately about the costs is to spend time with the working professionals of the country to plan to enter. Knowing about the expenses you will incur beforehand can help you allocate your budget efficiently.

2. Tax and Employment Regulations

Every country has its own tax and employment regulations that cannot be ignored. For example, the US is quite strict on its rules about employee safety through OSHA. Other countries have different tax laws that govern their employees’ safety. These regulations are not always straightforward and might take time to understand. Mexico, for example, has several different agencies that govern employee safety, and sometimes the rules of one agency contradict those of the other.

These legal regulations affect everything in doing business globally. They will affect the way you hire your staff, the way you file your tax returns, the way you invest your money, and more. You might also want to consider how your country of origin treats income from overseas. Does that impact your profits significantly? Is foreign income giving you more or less value than the income you earn in your country? The answers to these questions will influence your decision to take your business abroad.

3. Your Marketing Techniques

As obvious as this seems, it might get overlooked in the hassles of expanding and doing business globally. In most cases, when you are expanding your business internationally, you will have to alter your marketing strategies. The way you write your marketing messages will need to be fine-tuned to match the mindset, values, and lifestyle of the new country you are entering.

A website promoting webinars designed differently for different regions

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Language is also an important consideration. There is a rule in marketing that says ‘Think globally, act locally’. This means you need to adapt your marketing to fit the unique aspects of each country’s culture that you want to penetrate. If you find this difficult, you can choose to hire a local marketing firm to help you position your brand in that country in the right way.

4. Hiring Employees Internationally

In doing business globally, whether you plan to open an office in each country you penetrate or simply hire remote workers to do the jobs for you, you will need to consider and strategize who to hire for the various job roles. The talent pool dramatically varies from country to country regarding availability, skills, expertise, and culture in the global job market. You might face many challenges in finding suitable employees to fit each job position. You will also have to develop a proper project management style that suits the cross-cultural employees you will hire.

You must spend time looking at the pool of professionals and compare them based on their expertise and experience. Rushing through this step can lead you to trouble in the long run. It is usually an excellent strategy to take your business abroad to a country with abundant professionals in the fields essential for your business. With the help of a recruitment firm or hiring professional, you can make better decisions about whom to hire.

5. Packaging

Another thing to consider for doing business globally is international packaging. Goods are not usually packaged in the exact same way in different countries. Every country has its own regulations. You must ensure that you follow these regulations when expanding your business abroad. Most countries also have legal requirements to post disclaimers on the packages, especially on cigarettes. The less developed countries might forgo the informative instructions, though.

custom packaging on a website built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

6. Due Diligence

This should actually be done before the previous points mentioned in this post. When you decide about expanding your business internationally, you must carry out due diligence to consider all the possible circumstances and scenarios. Spend some time in the countries you want to penetrate to better understand its culture and environment. Gathering information in this manner can prove to be invaluable in the long run. Getting hands-on experience about the culture and people’s way of thinking indicates whether or not your product can solve the people’s problems in that country. That’s why entrepreneurs interested in doing business globally actively visit the countries they want to penetrate. It’s a way of getting customer feedback from a new country before even selling your product in that country.

A tourism website built on Strikingly promoting the culture of Costa Rica

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

7. Currency

When you speak about doing business globally, the currency becomes a hot issue by default. In fact, if you want to partake in any international endeavor, you need to consider the currencies. If you’re going to make international sales, you must know how much you will be earning and how much value it will provide when converted into your local currency.

8. Quality Assurance

Quality always needs to be considered when you are expanding your business internationally. If you do not provide good quality products to a new country where you try to penetrate, your products will fail in the new market. Customers will form a negative image of your brand, which might influence your brand image in the country where you are based.

Quality is also impacted due to the long distances your goods travel for selling to international customers. This particularly applies to shipping food items or other perishable goods. For doing business globally, you need to know the best practices for shipping products that need extra care. Perhaps you can put a system of quality assurance in place that looks into these matters.

labels for shipping the goods to international customers

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

9. Economic and Political Stability

The world is quite unpredictable. Who could have imagined that we would suddenly be hit by a pandemic in 2020? There are uncertainties in different countries worldwide in terms of economies and politics. When you think of expanding your business internationally, keep this in mind. You might have to face political or economic instability challenges when doing business globally. Select countries that have lower risks and less unpredictability.

10. Professional Website

For doing business globally, you definitely need to have a professional website relevant to the audiences of all the countries you operate in. This means you will have to make specific changes or updates to your website features to appeal to people from different parts of the world. For example, you might want to make your website content published in multiple languages.

Using our website building platform called Strikingly, you can access our feature to create a multilingual website. Most of our tools and features to build a basic website are available in our free plan. But to create a multilingual site, you will have to upgrade to our Pro plan.

Our objective at Strikingly is to facilitate the process for our users to develop and maintain high-quality websites. We take our users’ comfort and convenience seriously and keep coming up with new upgrades to our features. Our user-friendly interface provides you with a smooth experience of building web pages without writing a single line of code. If you would like to build a website on Strikingly, you can create a free account with us to get started. Whether you are doing business globally or locally, having a professional website always helps position your brand and stand out from the competition.