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5 Tips for Conducting International Business - Finnegan Pierson - Blog

5 Tips for Conducting International Business

International businesses fuel multiple economies and help foster better relationships between companies but taking your company global means taking on more risks and more work to generate benefits for your business. There are many things that you need to consider when going global such as who your partners and customer base will include, how communications issues and problem-solving will be handled and even which laws and regulations you will need to comply with. Getting started with the right set of tips can go a long way such as doing your homework and listening to the right ideas.

Evaluate Your Funds and Customer Base

Before you go global, you want to evaluate your current market position, funding and customer base. These will need to translate into a foreign market for growth while maintaining levels of success at home. There will be some risk to your domestic standing when you expand overseas and understanding how to manage those risks can help you better evaluate if your company is ready to go global as well as minimize the impact the move makes on your business. You can earn a Masters in Global Risk Management online to help you understand which criteria are the most useful and what warning signs to watch out for as you grow your international footprint.

Find the Right Team and Partners

Expanding into a new market, abroad or at home, means having a team and business partners on the ground to help with real estate purchases, infrastructure and marketing. This is especially important when going global because cultural differences and local laws or regulations can set you back if you are not prepared. It is a good idea to find a local mentor to partner with who can guide you through the process and help minimize miscommunication or translation problems. The better your team is on the ground, the less time you spend traveling to and working in this new market, and the less your domestic operations are impacted by the expansion.

Have the Proper Infrastructure

Your infrastructure should address everything from setting up IT at your overseas offices to which issues can be handled on the ground versus by the headquarters teams. Setting up a corporate structure which addresses key communications, translation and technology issues as well as security, currency exchanges and marketing across multiple locations and cultures is a key factor in success. This means hiring the best people for each location as well as at corporate headquarters to address and coordinate these issues.

Be Willing To Change and Adapt

It is not a failure to recognize that your current business structure or ideas will not work on a global scale, especially if you consult with experts on how to change and adapt it to new environments and challenges. You may have to overhaul your customer service department from the policies to the interaction platforms or adapt your shipping practices to better fit customs and border control policies. It is important to also be willing to fail and have a sound exit strategy when going global because you can learn and adapt from this experience for a better venture in the future. All these things can be addressed by moving a little of your company at a time to the global market, evaluating how that move is going, and changing what is needed to succeed. When you start small and adapt as you go, you can more easily exit the endeavor if needed and not bankrupt your company in the process.

Do Your Due Diligence

Doing due diligence on international business ventures means researching your potential partners and team members carefully, learning and understanding applicable laws and regulations, and even stepping outside your comfort zone to embrace cultural differences. It is important to anticipate miscommunication issues and technical difficulties in advance, so you know the proper etiquette needed to address them. During this phase, you are likely to find areas where the expansion means pushing past your boundaries to take expert advice or be open to new ideas which take your research into previously unconsidered areas, so be prepared to continue learning and researching as your company grows. Spending time on the ground in each market you expand into can give you a lot of insight into which niche your products and services will fill there, what the cultural expectations for a company like yours are, and even who the local experts are to partner with.

Conducting international business means learning a lot about the applicable laws, regulations and markets. This can highlight the risks and benefits of expanding into each market as well as generate new ideas and foster better global business partnerships. It is important to do your due diligence, find the right team and partners, and be willing to change and adapt to new information, cultural expectations of customers, or even infrastructure issues. Global risk management professionals can help you identify these things and you can even earn a degree online in this subject to better manage your international expansion efforts.

Publish Date: September 16, 2020 7:59 PM

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