There’s no denying it. We officially live in a global society, and a lot of business people who are successful in their home countries are thinking about expanding abroad. Doing business in different countries doesn’t have to be limited to huge corporations or billionaires, however; now, small entrepreneurs are exploring well beyond their country. Thanks to advances in travel and technology, it would be foolish to limit yourself to only doing business in your home jurisdiction. There’s a big world out there, and a lot of money in it.
If you’ve never done business abroad before, you may feel a little intimidated about jumping into the international business world. It doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done. If you keep these tips in mind before, during, and after your international expansion, you’ll be profitable and happy in no time flat.
Get an early start
Seven A.M. Eastern Standard Time may seem early, but it’s already well into the day in London and Paris, and it’s nighttime in Tokyo and Beijing. Early starts and flexible times are essential for anyone who wants to do business abroad. Learn to sync up with the time in your foreign market, and always keep the time difference in mind when you schedule calls. In fact, as a rule, always plan meetings in your client’s time, and never yours.
Assess your value
Your product may be a success at home, but that doesn’t mean that people will have the same response abroad. Too many people make the mistake of assuming that their product’s popularity will carry on in any international market, and that overconfidence has hurt a lot of businesses. Study the market you’re hoping to enter and the current competition, and see if your product or business can fill a need. If it turns out not to be a good investment, don’t panic! There are plenty of other markets that could love what you’re offering.
Get help from the source
You’ll never be able to know a market or country as well as the people that already live and do business there. That’s why every business that has successfully expanded outside of their home country has had help from the inside. Get a business consultant from the country in which you’re planning on working, and get their input on your current plans.
Keep money in mind
Do you know the current exchange rate between your country and the country you’re planning on expanding in? Do you know how to handle payments? Business owners can get caught up in the idea of making money, but not know what to do with it once they get it. Look into getting an international payment gateway so that you won’t have problems doing business with customers. Also, always be aware of current exchange rates.
These are just some of the basic things to keep in mind when expanding your business internationally. Contact us at First Atlantic Commerce for more information about taking payments in foreign markets.