If you’ve launched a brand that’s going well locally, taking your business overseas is probably a natural evolution.
Data released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that while small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have traditionally limited their presence to local markets, there are some that are successfully taking the global path. Around 25% of all manufacturing SMEs now have a global presence, and around 20% draw up to 40% of their revenue from the international market. Give that the global market presents numerous opportunities, how do business owners take the plunge?
There is no dearth of entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to test international waters. However, not everyone is equally successful, even though the product or service on offer might be up to the mark. The main reason a seemingly great product or service does not get the attention it deserves is poor brand positioning. As a result, you need to focus on your brand’s story and how you plan to sell your wares before you actually make the transition to a foreign land.
Think Local While Taking your Business Overseas
Your product or service might have a great demand in the United States, but there is no telling if it will have a similar demand in another country. Understanding the local market is also important if you wish to avoid nasty surprises down the road. Some big businesses have learnt this the hard way, examples being Target’s performance in Canada and Walmart’s in China.
Instead to sticking to tried-and-tested markets such as Europe, Canada, and Australia, you may consider looking for markets where there is a demand for your offerings. For example, if you trade in dried fruits and nuts, the Indian subcontinent deserves your attention.
Bear in mind that your business might get affected by cultural differences. If such a possibility exists, determine what you might be able to do to bridge any probable divide. If entering any new market makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s best that you look elsewhere. The local competition that you might face also requires due attention.
Build an Effective Team
One common factor between some of the most successful people is their ability to build strong teams. This becomes particularly important if you plan taking your business overseas because you might not be able to interact with your overseas employees as much as you would like. Other than proficiency, the traits you should look for include trustworthiness and dependability. Make sure communication channels remain open and be appreciative of every team member.
Deal With Foreign Currency Exchange in the Right Manner
Taking your business overseas will
require that you deal in exchange of foreign currency. This can be when you
receive payments from clients or when you need to pay suppliers or employees.
While several banks give businesses the ability to make and receive
cross-border payments, they tend to fare poorly when it comes to
cost-effectiveness, speed, and convenience. Fortunately, several overseas money
transfer companies such as TransferWise, WorldFirst, and OFX provide suitable services for SMEs.
The international marketplace has shrunk considerably over the last two decades, prompting an increasing number of businesses to go global. As long as business owners do the required groundwork, there is no reason why they cannot succeed. If you think there’s any other aspect that needs to be considered, please share your thoughts in the comments section.
Jon works with iCompareFX as a researcher. The website lets its users run side-by-side
comparisons of the world’s leading overseas money transfer companies, while
also giving them access to in-depth reviews and special offers.