Going Global: 4 Secrets to Taking Your Business Beyond the Border
The world is changing; a combination of a rising international middle class, global markets and the Internet allows businesses of any size to compete globally. While the world is not flat, it is completely open and small businesses should notice this. If your venture is doing well in the U.S., it will most likely succeed in other countries, and you should be looking into these markets before your competitor does.
96 percent of consumers are outside the states and they account for about two-thirds of the entire world’s purchasing power. Shocking as the statistics are, only 1 percent of American businesses are exporting their products and services beyond the boundaries. This is your chance to make it to the international markets; here are 4 secrets to help you grow.
If your small business is dealing with limited resources, going after every market opportunity you find may not sound like an attractive option. Have a short list of markets you would love to approach to help take the business global. Formulate a strict method for growing your business venture and ensure that every market you look at offers you a larger customer base, access to cheap raw materials or labor and the proper legal environment for carrying out business.
Pick Potential Markets
Considering that the world has 195 countries, where do you even start? Most U.S companies prefer going into markets with the least resistance; other English countries like New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom and Canada. This is a good strategy, but a better plan is figuring out what countries have the highest demand for your services or products.
As you do this, follow the 80/20 logic rule. This means that 80 percent of the international sales are generated by only 20 percent of the international markets. In so doing, you will have to prioritize your efforts.
Study and Understand the Local Rules
Each country out there has a different set of engagement rules. As you get started on your going global journey, it is vital that you engage a consulting firm that will guide you in international expansion. Such a firm will help you learn all about the business taxes, government taxes, accounting rules, regulations, local laws, compensation rules, contractor vs employment rules and others.
Never underestimate the negatives of involving yourself in risks like organized crime, bribery payments and any other corruption vices that are likely to land you in jail. Learning this information will help you make a better decision on whether a market is ready for your business.
Learn More Languages
The biggest challenge for small businesses going abroad is the language barrier. In most cases, this is an afterthought when businesses are going for the international markets. Since only 18 percent of the population in America speaks a second language, it is difficult for small businesses to appreciate that English is not the only language for doing business in other countries.
Actually, if you intend on expanding to one of the top 15 recently emerging markets, you should be aware that 60 percent of your potential clients cannot converse in English. In addition, more than 70 percent of your clients are more likely to purchase a product that contains information in their own language. Work with language translation firms to help you expand beyond the borders without alienating your new clients or committing to long-term contracts.
Finally, now is the time to start planning and looking into how much collateral is needed for a small business loan to take you global. The multinational game is no longer the preserve for the Fortune 500 businesses anymore, the rules have changed!