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How to Expand Your Business to Russia as a Foreigner

Want to expand your business to Russia as a foreigner? You are in luck. Russia, the largest country in the world, is prime for new foreign investments. The country has massive untapped business potential, presenting your company an opportunity to enter the market. Here are some useful resources to help you enter the market successfully.

Expanding Your Business in Russia as a Foreigner

Entering your company in a new market, especially one in a different country, requires documentation and other essential processes like registering the business, finding an appropriate business name, and so on.

Here are a few helpful steps to guide you when expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner.

1. Get the Right Immigration Status

To be able to expand your business to Russia as a foreigner, you will need the appropriate immigration status. And so, it is important to check if your current immigration status allows you to start a business in Russia. If you do not have one yet, you will need to decide if you need a residency or work permit.

2. Decide How to Register Your Business

When expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner, you have the following options:

  • Register as an individual entrepreneur or sole proprietorship.
  • Register using a Branch or Representative Office (RO).
  • Establish a Russian Legal Entity as a —
    • Limited Liability Company
    • Partnership, or
    • Public or Private Joint Stock Company.

Decide on a Local Company Name

This is an important part of expanding your business to Russia as you want to make sure that your business name is available and not already in use. Additionally, you will need an address for your business when registering it.

4. Prepare Documentation

The Russian Legislation states that the founders of a business looking to open or expand to Russia will need the following documents:

  • Full company name as well as any abbreviations that may be used
  • Names and signatures of the founders
  • Amount of shareholder contributions plus the nature of these contributions
  • Business plan as well as rules of the company
  • Legal responsibilities

This process may differ based on the type of legal structure you choose to register your business under.

5. Register Your Business with the FTS

Next, register your business with the Federal Tax Service (FTS) by sending them the following documents:

  • Registration form with notarized signatures (R200)
  • Copies of foundation papers
  • Proof of legal status as the business founder
  • Receipt of state registration fee (R4000)

If your application is accepted, then your business will be registered for tax purposes and you will receive the following documents:

  • Certificate of State Registration
  • Tax Certificate
  • Tax ID number
  • Copy of foundation papers with the mark of the registering authority
  • Extract from the Common State Register of Legal Entities

6. Open a Bank Account

Opening a Russian bank account is the next important step in expanding your business to Russia as a foreigner. To open a business account, you will need:

  • Notarized copy of signatures for the account (R200)
  • Documents confirming the identity and authority of the signatures on the account
  • Tax Certificate
  • Russian business license
  • Founding papers

7. Get a Russia Phone Number

Next on the agenda is to get a Russian phone number. You can purchase Russian numbers from a virtual phone service provider like Global Call Forwarding. Russia toll free numbers will give locals within Russia the option to call your business for free, no matter where you are located. Local Russia numbers let them call you for regular local calling charges.

Investing in Russian phone numbers will help you get in touch with locals, business contacts, and institutions as you prepare to move your business to Russia and build local networks. Have calls routed to any number or location of your choice with international call forwarding.

8. Advertising & Promote Your Business

Finally, you can start promoting your business as an international business. Consider using international SEO and digital and social media advertising to boost your business’ international visibility.

Get Russia Phone Numbers with Global Call Forwarding

We offer business numbers for companies looking to expand globally without dramatically increasing their phone bills. You can enjoy advanced communication features such as creative routing strategies, call recording, and more to improve customer service. Sign up today or speak with one of our global specialists to learn more!

Related: Understanding the Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Understanding the Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Want to learn more about the different types of Russian phone numbers available? In this post, we detail the different Russian phone number types and uses.

Different Types of Telephone Numbers in Russia

Russia has a variety of phone number types with different purposes that range from free calling to mobile to emergency special numbers. The country dialing code for Russia is (+7) and the trunk prefix is (8).

If you plan to do business in Russia, then understanding the difference between numbers types proves necessary. Russia uses an open dialing plan with four levels for local, zone, country, and international.

Russian phone numbers are administered by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media. They are under a unified numbering plan with Kazakhstan.

Let’s look at the different types of phone numbers, their format, and how to get a Russian telephone number.

1. Russian Local Numbers

Russian local numbers or geographic Russian numbers are phone numbers most commonly used by local businesses and residents. Individuals using these numbers incur local calling charges. Local numbers have a distinct area code for the region they are assigned to. For example, you can get local Russian numbers for the following major Russian cities with these area codes:

  • Moscow (495)
  • Omsk (3812)
  • Saratov (8452)
  • St Petersburg (812)

The format for Russian geographic numbers is: 8 (area code) xxx-xx-xx

As a business, you can get a Russian local number from a virtual provider even if you are not located in Russia. You can have incoming calls routed to your office, situated anywhere in the world. Locals call a local number which then gets forwarded internationally to you. This gives local Russians an inexpensive way to connect with your business, even if it is overseas.

2. Russian Toll Free Numbers

Toll free Russian numbers work like any toll free number: they are free for Russian locals to call. The toll free prefix used is (800). This means that businesses, customers, leads, vendors, etc., can call your business from within Russia for free. Again, virtual providers will give you the opportunity to use a toll free Russia phone number from outside the country. Therefore, if you want to expand your business to this country but don’t want to move there, you can still offer sales and customer support through toll free numbers.

The format for toll free Russian numbers is:
8 (800) xxx-xx-xx

3. Russian Mobile Numbers

Russian mobile numbers starting with prefixes (939) or (958) are mobile numbers with SMS capabilities. That means that these numbers can receive instant messages. Using mobile numbers can help your business offer SMS as an alternative to phone calls, increasing accessibility.

The format for Russian mobile numbers is:
8 (939) xxx-xx-xx

  • 101 – Fire brigade
  • 102 – Police
  • 103 – Ambulance
  • 104 – Gas service
  • 112 – General emergency
  • 107 – Directory assistance, Rostelecom
  • 109 – Directory assistance (free, limited info)
  • 009 – Directory assistance in Moscow
  • 100 – Talking clock in Moscow
  • 115 – Info on electronic government services

How to Get a Russian Phone Number

To get a Russian telephone number, simply sign up on our homepage. We offer Russian virtual numbers, toll free numbers, and mobile numbers. You can also get a universal toll free number (UIFN) that includes Russia, among other countries. To sign up or learn more, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with our global experts online today!

Everything You Should Know About Global Expansion After COVID-19

What can your business do to attract post-pandemic customers and increase customer retention? From call forwarding to securing your online transactions, here we look at the different steps you can take to bring customers back to achieve your global expansion goals.

Global Expansion in the Post-COVID-19 World

COVID-19 has placed a pause on growth in 2020; both locally and internationally. Businesses around the world have had to make changes and adjustments to survive, and quite a few haven’t. So, what do global expansion best practices look like in the post-COVID-19 world and what can businesses do to make it through?

1. Americans Believe the Pandemic Won’t Affect the Country’s Global Standing

As the United States continues to open businesses by adopting social distancing measures, Americans believe that this obstacle won’t hamper the country’s international reach and standing. Focus for businesses recovering can include:

  • Support for small businesses
  • A quick switch to remote working and online shopping
  • Community-led projects designed to boost local businesses while maintaining safety protocols
  • Advertising campaigns focused on supporting local businesses

2. International Travel Will Recover

While most countries locked down borders and stopped flights, experts predict that tourism and international travel will pick up once the pandemic is over. Tourism, international travel, and international trade are necessary for global expansion. And although almost every country has enforced travel restrictions, experts predict that an international travel boom should be expected when the pandemic weakens and vaccines are made available.

How to Expand Your Business During a Pandemic?

So, in order to prepare for a post-pandemic world, what can your business do to get more global customers in a post-pandemic world? Here are some tips:

1. Global Communication Tools

Invest in global communication tools to expand your customer base. If your business was focused on in-person meetings, then switching to other communication channels should be the first priority. Use voice and video conferencing, live chat, email, and instant messaging as convenient ways to converse with customers.

Video conferencing, specifically, is growing more and more popular as users can communicate in real-time, first-hand, and have visual interaction. Tools like live chat, email, and instant messaging are also preferable as not all customers are able to have phone conversations. However, as a business, being active on these channels and responding promptly is a must.

By adopting new communication tools, you can appeal to local and international customers. Create new relationships and maintain old ones. Right now, customer service is the most important it has ever been. Closed stores, slow shipping times, etc., have customers on edge. But being able to reach your business and get real answers can help post-pandemic customers stay loyal to your business.

Furthermore, you can use international call forwarding to have incoming calls from different locations and countries routed to your main office or remote workers. This is a good way to maintain communication with international customers without the hassle of international calling charges.

Secure Supply Lines

Businesses in the import/export industry or those that import/export products need to stay on top of their supply lines. This means securing your products as well as clarifying logistics to ship locally and globally. If port lines are closed for target countries, then consider switching to air freight, or other similar measures that can transport your shipments.

Offer Safety and Security

Finally, in these uncertain times, safety and security are of paramount importance. Many businesses have switched to online-only business operations while some stores remain open. And so, it becomes your responsibility to maintain safety within your store and among your employees as well as in your online transactions. In other words:

Your customers should feel safe whether they are visiting your business in person or making an online purchase. Send letters via email or outline your safety measures on your website so that they know exactly what you are doing for your business and for them.

Adapting to a Post-COVID-19 World

COVID-19 has brought the whole world to a standstill. However, instead of dwelling on what we are losing, it helps businesses to look at the future and what they can do to win their customers back. Here’s to looking at the future and hoping for the best!

The Chinese Telephone Code Plan Explained

Want to learn more about the Chinese telephone code plan? Find out which Chinese phone number type is the best fit for your Chinese business phone number.

Understanding the Chinese Telephone Code Plan

Chinese phone numbers are organized and assigned by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MII). According to their plan, there are different formats for landlines, mobile numbers, and toll free numbers. The Chinese country code is (+86).

We will delve into the finer details of the Chinese telephone code plan so you can find the right business phone number for your company.

1. Chinese Local Numbers

In major Chinese cities, landlines or local numbers have a 2-digit area code followed by an 8-digit subscriber number. Some cities have a 3-digit area code with a 7- or 8-digit subscriber number. When a local landline number is called from another number within the same area, the area code does not need to be dialed. Local Chinese numbers with area codes include:

    • Beijing (10)
    • Guangzhou (20)
    • Tianjin (22)
    • Shanghai (21)
    • Zhengzhou (371)
    • Xiantao, Tianmen, Qianjiang (728)

The format for Chinese local numbers is:
(area code) + xxxx-xxxx

As a business, in or outside of the telecom industry in China, having a local number lets local customers call you by paying regular local calling charges. And so, even if your business is not located in the country, customers do not have to pay high international calling charges to get support.

2. Chinese Toll Free Numbers

China toll free numbers are business numbers that give local Chinese callers a free calling option. This is because toll free service providers charge the business using the toll free number instead of the caller. By doing so, you give interested and potential customers a way to contact your business for free.

An international business located outside of China can use these numbers to gain more Chinese customers or build local networks. Incoming calls can be forwarded to your office, wherever it is located.

The format for Chinese toll free numbers is:
(010) + (800) + xxx-xxxx

3. Chinese 400 Numbers

China 400 numbers are business numbers part of the Chinese telephone code plan that start with the prefix (400). These numbers are reachable from anywhere in the country, making them a good business phone number option.

The format for Chinese national numbers is:
(400) + xxx-xxxx

4. Chinese International Codes

China has four international call prefixes that residents, businesses, and foreign callers can use. These international codes include:

    • Mainland China (+86)
    • Hong Kong (+852)
    • Macau (+853)
    • Taiwan (+886)

Related: How To Call China From The United States

Getting Chinese Phone Numbers

Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of Chinese phone numbers that work within the Chinese telephone code plan. You can use these numbers to start a new business in the country or expand your business to China. Call us today to learn more!

5 Ways to Win Back Your Post-Pandemic Customers

It’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic put a wrench in our plans to grow this year. Yet, instead of being disheartened about the current state of your business and future prospects, now is the time to see how you can reinvent your company and keep your customers. In this post, we will look at creative and successful ways to bring your post-pandemic customers back to your business.

Win Back Your Post-Pandemic Customers with a Customer-First Strategy

To ensure that your customer relationships outlast the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to have a customer-first strategy. This includes understanding what your customers need from you and how you can offer that in a safe and secure way. Let’s look at these 5 ways to win back post-pandemic customers.

1. Gather New Customer Insights & Preferences

The first step to implementing a customer-first strategy for your post-pandemic customers is focusing on what they need. Gather information about customer insights and preferences by asking them, conducting social media polls, and getting your marketing team on task. Brainstorm ways in which you can surprise your customers or make them feel valued. Thank you notes or emails, complimentary presents for using your service, etc., are some ways to get their attention and make them feel welcomed.

2. Demonstrate What You Are Doing to Stay Safe

Since individual and collective safety is of utmost importance at this time, you will need to show your customers what your business is doing to stay safe. Social media posts and an email detailing your safety plan can go a long way in gaining their trust. Some ways to display good and safe practices include:

  • Mandating face masks when in your store
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Ensuring the availability of hand sanitizers
  • Offering flexible return to business policies
  • Keeping your website and online transactions secure from hackers
  • Highlighting employee safety regulations; what employees are doing to stay safe and healthy

All of this information not only educates your customers about the virus and how your business is dealing with it but also helps them trust you and your employees enough to make a purchase.

3. Offer Multichannel Communication & Support

Besides offering phone and email support, you may even consider other channels of communication. For example, instant messaging, social media engagement, live chat, and video conferencing. Video conferencing can go a long way in interacting with a potential customer, doing product demonstrations, and securing their purchases.

4. Prepare for Antsy and Worried Customers

Now this one is important. There is general anxiety all over the world right now. And so, your customers may be angry, worried, or antsy. But be mindful and respectful of this. Treat them with kindness. Be prepared with solutions to their issues and concerns. And you will gain global customers for the long-run.

5. Make it Easy for Customers to Come Back to Your Business

Encourage your post-pandemic customers to come back. It is not going to be easy, which is why your business must attempt to make it convenient for them to return. Shower them with deals and promotions, membership programs, let them know how much you miss them. These actions will reap results in the future when everything opens up again.

 Prepare For When the Pandemic is Over

Remember that even if customers do not immediately start purchasing from your business, they will remember the above initiatives when the pandemic is over. They will know that your business did everything it could to ensure safety and customer satisfaction, and that will also influence them to come back. Work now so that when COVID-19 is gone, your business is the first thing customers think about!

8 Proven Tactics to Get More Global Customers

Supporting a global customer base may seem overwhelming and unattainable. However, with the right tools and business moves, bringing aboard more global customers can be a piece of cake. Here are 8 proven tactics to appeal to an international customer base.

How to Get More Global Customers: 8 Surefire Tips

Bringing on new global customers requires a few different strategies working at the same time. For example, you will need to increase business visibility and awareness through advertising and international marketing. Then, you will have to make your business easily accessible to customers in these global markets. Read on for specific tactics you can use to entice new customers as you expand globally.

1. Hire Locals

Work with local recruiters to bring locals on board who know how to work within these target markets. Hiring locals means you can offer customer support in that area’s time zone and in regional languages. Furthermore, these employees know what the purchasing and buying culture is like within that country, state, or city. And this information can be used to better appeal to customers and vendors.

2. Work with Remote Teams

Hiring employees for global markets does not always mean opening field offices or relocating your current employees. You can easily hire and manage remote workers and teams by using a virtual phone system that allows users to conduct business communications from any location and any device. This lets you hire locals without needing to worry about getting an office space, equipment, etc. This helps you keep communication costs low as well as save on moving or office costs.

3. Plan to Offer Customer Support in Different Time Zones

To reach maximum global customers, it is important to offer support in current time zones. This means making your agents available in the time zone of the region you are targeting. This can be done by hiring locals from the countries or regions where you want to offer global customer support. Then, you can have incoming calls forwarded to those agents and remote workers during certain times of the day through time-based routing or location-based routing. This way, global customers can get support quickly.

4. Invest in Multilingual Support Tools

A global expansion best practice is being able to reach global customers in languages and terms they understand and appreciate. More than 29% of businesses in a recent survey conducted by Inside Intercom said that they lost customers by not offering multilingual support. This is why it’s essential to use multilingual support tools to make your business more accessible. Consider investing in:

  • Multilingual agents
  • Language and location targeting
  • Localization services
  • Machine translation features to translate your website
  • Chatbots that support different languages, etc.

This can help you reach a larger audience and improve brand awareness and visibility giving your business an international reputation.

5. Consider Automation

Automation can help offer support when agents are unavailable. For instance, you can develop a cloud IVR system to answer incoming calls, identify the purpose of the call, and take action accordingly. This automated voice response service will interact with callers, ask pre-determined questions, and present callers with pre-recorded menu options. Then, based on caller input, the system will offer support, transfer the caller to the right agent, or send them to voicemail. The same goes for chatbots.

These automation services can help reduce the burden agents feel by taking care of smaller concerns, giving employees the time needed to work on more complicated issues. Automation also helps provide support during off-hours and the weekend, making your business more reachable to global customers when they need you most.

6. Use Multiple Social Media Platforms

If your business is not on social media platforms, then it is lacking in business awareness. Social media has grown into an important and effective global marketing tool. Use your platforms to demonstrate your business’ (geographical) reach, its values and products, customer reviews, events, and more. Engage with followers, respond to queries and concerns, and adopt a neutral, non-political stance.

7. International SEO

Consider search engine optimization or SEO for international marketing. This usually includes boosting your website and increasing your business’ visibility through country targeting and language targeting. Develop content that is original and relevant and use keywords that will draw local as well as international traffic to your website.

8. Display Quality Testimonials and Reviews

Lastly, highlight reviews and testimonials from your global customers. Social proof goes a long way in showing new prospects how your business values its customers and how your business works. You may even choose to publish case studies on successful clients, detailing how your product or service benefits them, and so on.

Need Communication Tools to Reach Global Customers?

Global Call Forwarding can help you get the right communications tools for global expansion. Call us today at 1 (561) 908 6171 to find out how we can help you improve the customer experience for your global customers.

7 Must-Have Communication Tools for Global Expansion

Expanding internationally and entering new markets can be unsuccessful if not planned properly. One of the most important parts of global expansion is preparing to communicate overseas and across borders. What are some useful communication tools for international businesses?

Global Expansion: Useful Communication Tools

The following 7 global expansion communication tools can help you maintain good communication with your employees as well as future clientele when you expand internationally.

1. International Business Numbers

First and foremost, consider using international toll free numbers. These are essentially toll free numbers for international countries. Depending on where you want to expand, you can get international toll free numbers for that area. For example, if your US business wants to extend sales to Asia, you can get India or Singapore toll free numbers, and so on. Calls made to these numbers can be forwarded internationally to a number or device of your choice, including your US office.

Individuals calling from these countries will think of your number like any other local numbers and your business as locally accessible. This allows you to enter new markets and encourage customers to call your business number for free. And since you use an international toll free service, you won’t be paying high international calling rates. Instead, you pay according to your subscription plan.

2. Local Phone Numbers

Virtual local phone numbers are numbers with local area codes. These are useful when you are targeting specific states, cities, or regions in different countries. For instance, you can get a Dubai local number or a Sydney local number. Locals calling a local number are charged regular rates, even if the call is forwarded internationally to your business in the US.

Both ITFS and local phone numbers give your international clientele and business contacts convenient and inexpensive ways to connect with your business, irrespective of its location.

3. Outbound Calling

Outbound calling is a telecom service that supports your outgoing and cold-calling efforts. An outbound calling strategy will help you contact local and international customers through any device or number. You can even display a local or domestic toll free number as your outgoing caller ID to present your business as local. Global Call Forwarding’s outbound calling service comes with a web dialer that is easy to install and use. You can save contacts, update caller history, and more with our dialer.

4. Live Chat and 24/7 Customer Support

Offering live chat on your website with either agents or chatbots can assist web visitors who want to learn about your products and services or need troubleshooting help. You may choose to hire remote agents located in the areas falling under your global expansion strategy. These agents can provide around-the-clock customer support via chat and phone conversations. They will also be able to offer services in regional and local languages and time zones.

With live chat and 24/7 customer support, you can increase customers’ reliability on your service and company.

5. Text Messaging Services

You may also consider getting an SMS plan along with your business number. Doing so will give interested prospects another easy method of contact. While most customers prefer to interact via phone calls, some customers prefer email or text messaging. You can appeal to this target group by making the option available.

6. Ticketing and Problem Tracking Software

Additionally, having a reliable ticket or case tracking system will prove useful when customers need quick support. Consider investing in an online help desk that allows customers to submit a ticket and track the ticket’s progress. Furthermore, train employees to quickly resolve tickets as they come up. This can help increase customer satisfaction and trust in the company.

7. Social Intranet

A social intranet refers to a private hub or network that only certain members of an organization have access to. A social intranet for your business can enable internal communication and collaboration. You can develop your office’s intranet by using a content or project management system. Furthermore, an intranet is a recommended solution for companies executing a Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” policy.

Prepare Well for Global Expansion

To successfully enter your business in the global market, one must be prepared in many ways. And global or virtual communication becomes an important aspect. To learn more about how Global Call Forwarding can help you build a strong communication system, speak with our global specialists today!

11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Is global expansion on your next business meeting agenda? Any business aiming for success will consider entering the global market at some point. This is because expanding beyond your immediate location can help increase sales and credibility. But how do you make such a big decision and ensure it doesn’t fail? Here are some best practices and tips to consider when going global.

11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Considering global expansion for any business can seem like a daunting task. However, there are plenty of tools and resources available to make this transition as smooth as possible. Here we outline best practices to consider when expanding internationally. These practices are divided into different stages:

  • Planning
  • Presence
  • Follow-Through

Stage A: Planning

The first step to any business’s global expansion strategy is thorough planning. This includes choosing which markets or areas to target and how to go about targeting them.

1. Which Markets to Target
Conduct market research and gather data and intelligence that can help you determine which regions are prime for your business. Create new buyer personas and study different demographics. Research customer behavior, preferences, patterns, and local trends. Consider: what is the demand for your product and purchasing power of your buyer persona?

2. How to Target New Markets
You can start small by test-selling specific products or services in these markets to see how they respond. You may even consider using research and small business tools made available by the governments in those areas.

3. How to Offer Sales and Support in These Markets
Open lines of communication between your main office and the new areas you want to target. Common options include contact forms, live chat on the website, social media accounts, and local phone numbers. This way, you can sell and provide support to entities located in these new markets.

4. International Payment Methods
An important aspect of global expansion is to make processes easy for customers and clients in different states and countries. One of these processes includes setting up international payment methods. In order to decide which payment methods are useful, you will need to research the local buyers’ preferred methods. Additionally, ensure that this payment method has a reputation for security and is credible.

Stage B: Presence

Now, once you’ve decided which markets to enter, the next step in global expansion is creating and maintaining a local presence in these markets.

5. Global Marketing with Partnerships
Start by establishing connections and partnerships with local experts and business contacts. A local partner that has access to the right network of customers, employees, and contacts will prove beneficial. This way, you can quickly enter the market, access the right audience, and create your local presence. You may also consider starting on existing online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, etc. You can test the demand and make the necessary changes before you start selling with full force.

6. International SEO
Next, you want to optimize your online presence with international SEO strategies. International SEO is like geo-targeting where you’re optimizing your website for different countries and languages. It helps search engines identify the countries you want to target. Then it provides the tools to support your marketing efforts. For example, it may offer different languages you may use or show users local results before international results, etc.

7. Global Sales Development
Now it’s time to start making calls. Once you’ve got your partnerships set up and your website optimized for different markets, the next step is to increase brand visibility and awareness in these local markets. To do so, you can use phone sales. A business phone service can support your sales development strategy by letting you call your local, long-distance, and international customers. Furthermore, you can buy international SIP trunks in order to display a local phone number instead of a number they don’t recognize. This way, you can establish connections virtually while taking your time with opening a field office.

Stage C: Follow-Through

Once you’ve got your markets ready and have partnerships and communications set-up, the next step in global expansion is to start making sales and offering customer support. There are a few different ways you can do this. The best way is to get virtual phone numbers and talk to your business contacts over the phone. Here are the most important tools to consider.

8. International Toll Free Service
An international toll free number is a toll free number for different countries. In other words, each country has designated toll free numbers that customers from within this country can call for free. Global Call Forwarding is the most trusted provider of international toll free numbers. Your business can get international toll free numbers for each country that you want to do business in.

9. 24/7 Customer Support
Another important global expansion best practice is to offer 24/7 customer support on different channels. This includes phone, email, live chat, SMS, trouble tickets, and more. You can offer after-hours service by developing an efficient automated self-service system that resolves common queries. Most commonly, businesses will facilitate global customer support using ITFS. Customer support is often handled by workers in remote locations and different time zones.

9. Regional Offices and Infrastructure
Ultimately after reaching global revenue targets, your business will need to open regional offices and colocation centers. Regional offices will host local staff in each region. In addition, your critical infrastructure will be hosted at colocation centers. You can find co-working spaces and regional data centers by doing a quick search online.

10. Local Phone Numbers
Local numbers have specific area codes that distinguish them from other areas. Local calls are charged local rates instead of long-distance rates. This is why businesses choose to get a local business number so local customers can contact them without any hesitation. When it comes to driving international growth in 2020, convenience is more important than ever. Your business should aim to provide a convenient experience as part of your follow-through.

11. Universal Freephone Numbers
A UIFN is a single, universal toll free number accessible from 45 different countries. However, this list of countries is predetermined and cannot be altered. If most of the countries you want to do business with fall under this list, then you search for a UIFN to streamline your inbound calls.

Start By Setting Up International Communications

We at Global Call Forwarding can set you up with local, international, and toll free numbers to get your international communication taken care of. Start by signing up for a new business number or porting your existing number on our homepage. For more information, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

Common Problems with China Virtual Numbers

Demand for China virtual phone numbers has grown substantially in recent years. However many businesses have gotten frustrated while trying to find a reliable phone number to use in China. Since there are so many amazing opportunities in China, businesses want to continue their presence and therefore a reliable service needs to be available. At Global Call Forwarding we are working hard to solve these issues.

Before problems can be solved, you must first know the types of China virtual phone numbers available. There are three types of Chinese phone numbers that businesses can choose from:

Toll-Free (800) China Numbers

800 Numbers in China have several limitations. This guide will explain their limitations and common problems in more detail.

Local China Numbers

Local China numbers are also known as direct inward dialing numbers. They are virtual phone numbers with local area codes and they can be used to make international calls within those local areas. Because the phones use local area codes, the callers are only charged local calling rates.

China 400 Numbers

China 400 numbers work similarly to 800 numbers. They are not exactly toll free as callers have to pay local rates to talk. However, the cost of calling is usually included in the price people pay for their phone service so these numbers are referred to as toll free numbers in China.

Now that we know the different types of Chinese phone numbers, what are the common problems with Chinese virtual phone numbers?

  • Mobile access
  • Setup times
  • VoIP regulations
  • Number porting
  • Number availability and limitations

So how do we solve these problems?

1. Mobile Access

Toll free numbers in China are not accessible for mobile phones. If a business has purchased an 800 number for their company, they will only be able to reach landlines which frustrates many businesses. Secondly, there are two 800 numbers in China; one for southern China and one for Northern China. Which means, if you are looking to reach all of China, you must purchase two toll free phone numbers. Because of the lack of mobile access for 800 numbers, 400 numbers exist. These can reach mobile phone users and there is no difference between north and south China. The only difference is that customers must pay a local cost.

2. Setup Times

China requires that you have documentation of your business or passport before getting virtual phone numbers. While you do not need a physical address in China to get a local phone number, the wait for approval on these documents can take a long time. In order to bypass these wait times, you need to choose a provider with a good relationship with Chinese providers.

Chinese lady experiencing a problem with her virtual number.
Source: Stockphoto.com O#1202 – ID#100128939750
3. VoIP Regulations

In China, several VoIP services have been banned. Only certain VoIP providers are allowed to operate in the country. These providers are usually allowed only when China owns a majority of the company. Therefore, adding new VoIP providers becomes very difficult and competition becomes almost impossible. Despite these advantages, Chinese VoIP providers have seen an improvement in the country’s willingness to partner with outside countries. The easiest place to gain a phone number is in Beijing, but outside of the country’s capital, it is still a struggle. The 400 numbers have the most common services available from VoIP providers. With 400 numbers, there is better consistency in call quality. As more businesses take their businesses to China, the service will continue to improve.

4. Number Porting

Number porting is not as advanced in China as you may find in other countries. Changing service providers in China will mean a few extra steps, involving canceling your number and buying a new phone number from your new provider. This issue has not been fixed, but if you choose a reputable VoIP provider that allows you to test their service before signing a long-term contract, you won’t waste any money on advertising a new number.

5. Number Availability and limitations

Local numbers are difficult to set up in China due to their many restrictions. As China’s economy grows and more businesses choose to expand their global reach, the difficulty has lessened. However, complaints about call quality are common. Many providers only provide access to Beijing or Shanghai. At Global Call Forwarding, we offer local numbers in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tongchuan, and Hong Kong, with a reliable connection.

The future of China and the VoIP industry shows promise for growth. Although it is difficult at the present time, VoIP providers and China have been working hard to establish better connections and they continue to get better.

Related: The Chinese Telephone Code Plan Explained

Communicating with Coworkers Who Don’t Speak Your Language

Communication is an integral part of any thriving society, it is how we express feelings and cultivate relationships. However, communication at home or at work can be very difficult for some people, and when you add a language/ culture barrier there are even more things that can go wrong. There are thousands of languages in the world, and in your lifetime you have probably met a wide assortment of people who did not speak your language. When you’re working with someone who speaks a different language there are many creative ways to communicate with them that will make collaboration and teamwork easier. Here are a few tips to help business communication go smoother for all parties involved.

Find Some Common Ground

Try to feel out how many words and phrases the other person knows in your language and vice versa. Use those to begin communications. It does not matter if the conversation is very simple, it is a start. Try to avoid the use of any slang words; using slang could lead to a lot of confusion or even offense if the person takes the slang term literally. Remember to speak clearly, loudly, and slowly. You will appreciate the same from them when they attempt to respond in their language. If you’re working with this person on a daily basis, try to use the same words over and over again. Don’t get fancy with your wording because learning a new language takes time and a lot of effort. As soon as you or the other person shows signs of improvement in the new language, then you can start using more complex sentences and challenging words. Using the same words that you both understand will help you communicate, but using the same word over and over that you don’t understand will not help. For example, if your coworker does not know the word for “peach” saying peach over and over again is not going to help them understand what it is. They will not have a Eureka! Moment and suddenly a new idea will pop into their head. Instead, grab a peach and point to it and say the name again. If you can’t find the object or it is an abstract concept, consider explaining the word in a simple definition they will understand.

2. Actively Listen

Listening to someone speak in a foreign language can be very confusing. If you know a few words, trying to translate them in your brain can take a great deal of effort. Try to make that effort and hopefully the person you are speaking back to is doing the same. Look out for confusion on their faces or nonverbal body movements that express perplexity. Most people say “huh” when they are confused no matter where they’re from. Others will shrug their shoulders or raise their eyebrows. If someone is trying to explain something to you in their language, try to learn the phrase for “I don’t understand” in their language so you can let them know they need to explain it differently.

3. Write It Down

Some people may understand a language on paper better than they can understand it while it is being spoken, especially since accents differ greatly among many languages. If someone has studied a language in school, for example, they probably have a lot more experience reading the language instead of speaking it. If you know that you’re going to be speaking with someone who does not speak your language, consider bringing a small notepad with you when you go to see them. If the person will not recognize a word even if you write it down, try drawing it. If you’re not much of an artist, Google the word on your phone and pull up images to show them.

coworkers communicating in different languages.
Source: Stockphoto.com O#20443 – ID#100092592016

4. Be A Mime

Not literally of course, but acting out what you are trying to convey can be very helpful since you are unable to use your words. For example, if you need to let this coworker know that it is time for lunch, mime having a plate and spooning food into your mouth. You can also rub your stomach to let them know you are hungry. Gestures can be helpful as well. For example, lifting up four fingers will let them know that the meeting is at 4 pm, or that you need 4 copies of a certain document, it all depends on the context of your conversation. Just keep in mind that not all gestures mean the same thing throughout the world. In some countries, certain American gestures are considered rude.

5. Get a Helpful Translator

If your company has recently brought in new employees from another country, or you have been hired into a company that works across different time zones or countries, it is a great idea to download some translation apps on your cell phone. You can use Google Translate right from your phone’s internet browser or you can peruse the app site for something to have readily on your phone. A few apps to consider downloading on your iPhone or Android device include iTranslate, TripLingo, SayHi, Voice Translator Free (Android only), and iHandy (iPhone only). If you don’t want to have your phone out all the time consider purchasing a language dictionary. Leave the dictionary in your desk and bring it along with you when you know you’re about to have a conversation with the coworker who doesn’t speak your language.

Overcoming a language barrier is not impossible. It is important to continue at it and not get frustrated with yourself or the other party. Remaining as professional as possible when speaking to any coworker is very important, so don’t forget these rules still apply to someone that doesn’t know your language. Respect the person who has come into your office with a language barrier, do not make them feel bad for not understanding a foreign language overnight. They are clearly at your job because they want to work and therefore they deserve to be treated with dignity. If it is you who is on the other side, you’d most appreciate this treatment returned to you.