Every entrepreneur knows that running a business can be stressful especially when you are striving to expand your business to new markets. There may come the point in your business journey where you feel it’s time to look further afield and maybe even consider how successful you could be when starting a business overseas.
International business management can be hugely beneficial and it will allow you to increase your sales by relying on new and exciting markets. However, you will not have the same amount of goodwill you enjoyed at home, which is why it’s so vital to legitimize your business to appeal to your new customers.
Set up an Office
Searching for properties for rent and setting up an office will immediately make it easier for your business to operate in a new country. This approach goes a long way towards legitimizing your business, as potential customers will be able to see your business as something genuine. Other businesses may prefer to do things from the comfort of their home country, but this only works if they are already an established name. As your business does not have name value or recognition, getting yourself there physically will prove that you are more than a concept.
Create a Local Website
A website is essential for legitimizing any business, and experts will tell you that it is one of the first things you should do when starting a company no matter where you are based. If you use web hosting to launch a local website (such as .de for Germany or .co.uk for the UK) rather than the typical .com, it makes it seem as though you are entirely committed to this market. By using local web hosting, you can create a website that resonates more with residents and you can design content that appeals to them, rather than creating irrelevant articles or videos that they may not connect with.
Celebrate Local Holidays
Residents love to see foreigners get involved in their culture, and there is no better way to do this than by celebrating local holidays. If you take the time to research other established companies, you will see they regularly send out emails or create website banners wishing residents well for holidays that are unique to their home country. This shows that you have taken the opportunity to learn more about the culture, which is certain to endear your business to potential customers.
Translate Your Content
Another way to engage with local customers is to translate your existing content so that they have a way to learn more about your business and what you have to offer. While Google Translate can be effective for basic web copy and social media posts, it is not always reliable when it comes to detailed and valuable content. The translating software can lose much of the content, and it may not be able to fully translate certain idioms that are meaningless in other cultures. Your business can overcome this by working with a professional translator who knows the intricacies of the language.
Be Transparent With Shipping and Manufacturing
If you sell products rather than services, you will also need to consider how shipping can affect customers. Although it may not seem like a significant issue, the logistics can upset new customers, as you will still need to rely on your manufacturing services at home. This means there could be a significant delay in shipments, especially if your new market is on the other side of the world. Furthermore, some cultures may prefer you don’t use certain materials. If you want to avoid any issues, research the area and identify if there are any changes you need to make.
Work With Local Entrepreneurs
Even with all of these steps, your business can still struggle to gain and maintain a foothold in a new market. It could be beneficial to work with local entrepreneurs to boost awareness of your brand and attract new customers. You should be careful that you do not step on any toes (at least at first), as people may feel like you are attempting to wash away a local and well-loved business.
Legitimizing your business is tricky at any stage of your career. You must work extra hard to prove to clients that you are the real deal. This is a challenge in your home country, so it’s no surprise that international markets raise further challenges. However, if you remember this advice, you will find the launch much more streamlined, which will increase your chances of success in overseas markets.