If you’ve been operating a business for a while, it may be time to make some changes. Maybe that includes taking your business overseas. Expanding your business overseas gives you more opportunities for growth and sales, and can improve your overall success. But there is also international business risk, which leads to some important things to consider before you make the jump.
1) Hiring Overseas
Expanding your business overseas means you’ll be hiring employees internationally, and possibly even needing an international partner. Hiring talent in a separate culture can be a challenge all on its own. You should start by contacting a skilled labor company, though they are not available in all countries and industries. Schools and career programs overseas are another good place to recruit. Next, find a professional who is adept to your culture and theirs, who can help facilitate this process.
2) Cultural and Language Barriers
Part of doing business overseas is learning about the cultural differences, and dealing with language barriers. This is another reason you should consider an international partner who can handle some of the more difficult tasks until you learn the language. Adapting to the local culture overseas in terms of business etiquette is essential, whether you have a partner or not. It’s your responsibility to adapt to their culture in order to make the expansion a beneficial and profitable option.
3) The Financial Aspects
Financially speaking, you have several issues to contend with. First, your business should be financially stable, with a history of pulling in excellent profit margins. Create a long-term financial plan before attempting to go overseas with your business and take the time to fully prepare for the financial implications. Become familiar with tax and exchange rates in the other countries. It’s prudent to hire a tax accountant that is familiar with the financial implications of doing business internationally.
4) Government and Legal Issues
Aside from language and general cultural barriers, there are also legal and government barriers to be aware of. The legal issues include knowing about the different customs and tax laws, restrictions you deal with when importing goods back and forth, liability laws and if you have a corporation. Expanding your business and investing overseas also needs to be approved by their local government. This means dealing with potential government and regulatory barriers as you expand your business Internationally. Learn of the different restrictions before making the commitment.
5) Having a Stable Local Business
One common mistake businesses make is expanding Internationally too soon. Before even considering this option, you should be sure your local business is completely stable and secure. Your day-to-day routines should be set in stone, and you should be well into making a profit comfortable. Your business must be running well locally, otherwise the local and International business are going to suffer following the expansion.
6) Travel Risks
If you embarked on business internationally, chances are you or your employees will have to visit this foreign land at one point or the other. Along with that, though, comes a host of other risks, including medical emergencies, terrorism, natural disasters, kidnapping, and even civil unrest. Therefore, it’s important to take every precaution, including getting immunized and obtaining travel accident insurance.
Expanding your business overseas is a great choice when you have taken all of these important factors into consideration. Find a confidant experienced in your type of industry in the countries you are thinking about, in order to become familiar with language, legal, tax, financial and cultural barriers to start on a long-term plan.