If your business is seeing high levels of success here in the States, you might be weighing the possibility of taking your business global. After all, doing so can greatly expand your audience and your potential for growth/success. At the same time, there are some unique challenges involved with scaling a business globally. By following a few essential steps, however, you can be well on your way to expanding internationally.
Evaluate Your Plan for an International Audience
It can actually be helpful to begin by returning to your original business plan and assessing how well it will work (or not work, as the case may be) on a global scale. This will involve a fair amount of foreign market research on your part, as you’ll want to make sure you fully understand your market and your likelihood for success. From there, re-writing your business plan for a global market will help you get a better idea of where you’re at and what your next logical steps should be.
Research Cultural and Legal Considerations
Depending on the industry you’re in, there’s a chance you’ll need to make some changes to the way you do business in order to comply with cultural and legal standards in other countries. For example, packaging and safety requirements may be different from one country to another, so by researching these laws and regulations ahead of time, you’ll be able to prepare appropriately. Cultural differences in how business is conducted should also be carefully researched to understand the protocols followed and pace at which other companies conduct business. Careful consideration should also be given to the differences in communication and language (verbal and nonverbal) so as to avoid miscommunications that could jeopardize the success of your business in another country.
Seek Out International Partners
One of the biggest challenges business owners often face when going global is finding the right partners overseas. You will want to look for partnerships in your field of expertise that will allow you to expand into your target markets. There are firms that offer services to help you find those partners that can be explored to support your efforts. Careful consideration should be given to how potential partners have established credibility and success that you can leverage to expand your business.
Establish Proper Intellectual Property Protection
Companies who have invested in trademark, copyright and patent protection in the United States do not automatically enjoy similar protections for their intellectual property internationally. To ensure IP protection in the international market, seek council for each market you plan to enter to understand the related laws and what steps you should take to protect your company assets.
The thought of scaling your business from a local to a global one can be equal parts exciting and nerve-racking. With the right plan in place, however, you’ll be on the path to international success. Contact me today to find out how I can help further!