The idea of jet setting and being a global brand is appealing for many business owners. However, if your business is located in just one town, or is only nationally-based, you may be wondering how to establish yourself on a global scale. This process can take time, but it could be just what your company needs to seek out its full potential. Here are a few approaches to take in order to go global without being reckless or over-ambitious.
Before you expand as a business, you will need to ask yourself some searching questions:
- Why do we want to take this company outside of its resident country?
- Does the country I want to expand to actually need what we have to offer?
- Will this country even be familiar with what we do?
- Is our product or service appropriate for that country?
- Do we feel confident that we can succeed there?
If your answers are a bit shaky in response to any of these questions, you will need to decide whether such a dramatic move is really worth it. Risking investment across seas when you aren’t entirely confident of your ambitions could spell disaster on the horizon.
If you are 100% sure that your company can only benefit from opening up an office abroad, you should seek to reach out to other companies. Chatting to residents and industry peers will help to provide some overseas connections and a base for your ongoing research.
You can even start to pilot some of your research out there. If you had a product that you wanted to try out there, for example, why not reach out to some shops that could temporarily sell your product? This allows you to gauge how successful you could really be. It is better to be met with confusion or reluctance via a small sample size than a full-scale business. This allows you to adapt and change your product to meet that country’s expectations with a mitigated approach to risk.
Learn the language
If the country you have your sights set on speaks a different language, it is good manners to learn a bit of the language. Alternatively, you could take on a new team member who is fluent in that language to help build your connection abroad. Or, you could invest in training current team members to prepare specifically for international business. Learning a country’s pleasantries, turns of phrases, and custom shows an effort on your part to connect with their society on more than just a transactional level.
It is sometimes advised that your first overseas venture should be in a country with a shared language. This allows you to understand the process without too many barriers to communication in the way. That way, once you become accustomed to the process, you can set up shop in a country where there is more of complexity to the communication process.
If you are planning to open up a new business abroad, you will want to make regular trips. This is not just to make sure that your location is right for your company, but also to keep close ties with shareholders and new employees. Even though you might have a body of water between you, your company should uphold the same values and culture in that new country. The best way of achieving this is to visit as regularly as you can.
Open new offices
Once you are confident that your product is right for that country and that you could successfully open up a new company there, you will want to look at new offices. If you were taking the approach of opening a base in a country with a shared language, such as Britain, you will want to use experts to find the right office location for you. Finding a large office space for rent, for example, will require the right location and price point for your budget. The Workplace Company, for example, would help you to find the right lease but without the hassle of going through an agent.
With the right research in place, opening up a new business abroad can be a pivotal moment for a business that was hitherto based only nationally. Establishing yourself across the globe allows you to gain a prowess and reputation that may put you ahead of domestic competition.