One of the best ways to grow a business is to move into new markets. That can mean taking your company global. However, just setting up shop in another country isn’t enough. You need to understand the local culture, learn the language, and navigate the market. Here’s how to take your company global.
Research and narrow down your markets of opportunity
The first thing you need to do is figure out where in the world you want to expand. Then, research the local businesses to learn how they’ve succeeded. This will help determine what markets are right for your business and what you need to do to build a presence there. If you’re not sure where to begin, look at countries with similar buying patterns and cultures so you don’t have too much of an adjustment period when expanding.
If you decide on multiple countries but concentrate on one market per country, prioritize them based on size and growth potential for your industry or sector. Focus on growing within one country before going anywhere else.
Be culturally sensitive
When entering a new market, it’s important to understand how to do business in that country. For instance, some countries have laws requiring all corporate contracts to be written in the local language. Even something as simple as having your website and marketing materials translated can make the difference between success and failure. You should also work with local partners who are familiar with the culture and consumer behavior for that region, so they can help you adjust advertising messages and other messaging accordingly.
Leverage local experts
If you don’t already have a presence in the country, hire local employees and partners who can help you coordinate operations and navigate policies. For example, if English is not the primary language, consider hiring someone with expertise in that country’s culture to manage projects there. This will allow your company to be better prepared for the legal requirements of doing business there.
Learn the language
Even if you have hired local experts, speaking the language of the country you want to grow in will help you create a lasting connection with its people. It’s also crucial for your safety since many countries don’t have an official language and might use more than one. If no one at your company speaks the local language, hire someone who can help translate documents like business contracts and legal agreements into your native tongue. You should also consider using a translation management tool if you don’t have time to learn the language personally.
Focus on international marketing strategies
Once you’ve set up shop in a new country, adjust your marketing strategies to appeal to that region’s culture. For instance, some regions might be more traditional and prefer one-on-one business meetings over online collaboration or written correspondence. Others won’t mind doing business with people of other cultures or speaking different languages. Finding out how the locals like to do business will help you build stronger relationships for your company.
Set up your billing and payments system for international customers
Many companies that expand globally use online payment platforms to accept payments from customers around the world. A platform like PayPal can show you live updated sales data in different currencies and help you create invoices, contracts, and quotes for customers outside your country.