If you’re ready to take your business to the international level, there a few challenges that you might happen upon during your journey. The reasons behind these challenges are numerous. The recent Brexit from the European Union, political differences, and economic differences between international governments are just the beginning. To become a successful business leader in this global industry, there are practices in business that you should not observe carelessly. It will be an uphill battle but expanding and reaching new clients means a big boost to your profits. Despite these challenges, there are a few general rules that you can take into consideration before jumping into the international business world.
Do Your Research
Learning all you can about a foreign market is the first step to heading towards international business. You want to understand the market trends, how the economy flows, and the behaviors of consumers. If you find several issues that won’t allow you to enter the market or realize that your product or service is not necessarily beneficial to that foreign market, you will be happy that you did your research beforehand. It is better to find out it won’t work early on and work on choosing a different foreign market in the early stages. A normal American logo can look like an inappropriate symbol in a foreign market and vice versa. You do not want to offend your customers with your product. Try to speak to local distributors for some insights. Local distributors know how their customers behave and can point out issues with your product that may work in America, but not overseas.
Learn the Etiquette
Respect the culture, language, and simple etiquette of your new consumers and clients to get ahead. Human behavior varies greatly between countries. For example, blowing your nose in a meeting with Japanese businessmen will get you turned away. It is considered very crude, even if you can’t help that you have a cold. It is best to walk out of the room before taking care of a runny nose. Fortunately, you can learn about these many different cultural differences by doing a quick web search.
Decide Where You Will Run Your Business
Will you run your business from one place or have several shops around the world? If you choose to run your business from one place, consider getting an international virtual phone number so that you can keep in touch with clients and consumers. They will be more trusting of a local number than a foreign number and it will make them believe that you have a shop in their city. If you do expand your business with different stores or teams, you will need to coordinate between different time zones how you will all work together.
International Taxes and Accounting
After you have researched the area and decided on where you will run your business, you will need to look into that country’s tax information. You want to stay on the side of legality, therefore, understanding trading laws is key to gaining success and keeping it. Employment and labor requirements are different in other countries, too. For example, in Europe, employees receive 25-33 days of vacation time and you must also provide a minimum 14-weeks of maternity leave for expectant mothers.
Pricing Correctly To Break Into New Markets
Many businesses trying to break into the Chinese market realized right away that if their prices did not match the Chinese population’s expectations, they would not be able to compete in the market. The Chinese believe that the product should match the quality. That means that you might have to price down or price up your products depending on their view. For example, Apple products are priced higher in China than in America, because they are a symbol of status. If you can afford an expensive Apple product in China then you clearly have some degree of prestige.
Find Acceptable Payment Methods
There are a wide variety of payment methods that can be accepted internationally through e-commerce websites. It is important that you choose the right one for your business. PayPal, wire transfers, and Bitcoin are all possible payment methods. You can also go through well-respected global payment companies like Worldpay or through local payment methods in the country that you choose to do business in.
Despite these challenges, this is an exciting new chapter for your business! Since you are better prepared to face these challenges head-on, you and your business are sure to become stronger and more profitable because of it.