If you already have a small business going after graduating, you might already have your eyes set on going international. Doing this is important because a majority of the world’s population probably resides outside your country. If you do not consider expanding your business internationally, you might be missing out on major business opportunities that can help you grow your business into an international behemoth. To help you do this, here are a few things you should know if you decide to take this path.
Create a Business Plan
If you are considering taking your business global, you likely have already validated your business idea and found that there is a market for your products and services. The next step is creating a business plan. The business plan will be your guide as you navigate your new business. It will help you answer questions about how to position your products and services, start-up and monthly expenses, staffing plans, as well as projected revenue and income for the first few years.
A good business plan is also vital when looking for funding, which you will need because lenders want to see you have a plan and that you will be able to pay the amount lent to you.
Taking your business global can be quite expensive and you might need funding to get into the new markets you are targeting. Fortunately, there are lots of funding opportunities available to you. If you want to go down the traditional route, you can always take a business loan. This is an excellent option, especially when you already have a profitable local business.
Venture capital is another option if you know your business has high growth potential. Do note that you might have to give up some equity when you go with this option. Alternatively, you might decide to take on a business partner. Ideally, this partner should have the funds to finance the next phase of growth with an understanding of the types of markets you want to get into. This way, your visions will be aligned and they will be easier to work with.
Be Prepared for Paperwork
Every country is different and to comply with local regulations you might find yourself dealing with a lot of paperwork. Doing your research will prepare you for the type of paperwork you will need to handle. Set up an organizational structure to help you deal with issues like contracts, correspondences, and any legal forms you need to sign.
Fortunately, you do not need to do all this yourself. Contracting a professional employer organization (PEO) like New Horizons Global Partner will make this significantly easier for you. For example, if you want to establish a presence in Australia, New Horizons Global Partners can act as your PEO in Australia and handle all your employment contracts, set standards for bonuses and allowances, manage the payroll, and ensure minimum employment standards are met. To learn how else a PEO can help you handle relevant paperwork for your international businesses, you can find more information here.
Build a Network
Building an international business is all about creating the right networks. These networks can include distributors, manufacturers, exporters, importers, customers, and others. This network should ideally include people who make it easy to run your business and get products to customers, either by supplying them to you or helping you source them to your customers.
Forming a business network can seem daunting at first but it does not have to be. A good place to start is on your social media networks. Talk to businesses that have a presence in the countries you are interested in and ask for referrals. Try not to position yourself as a competitor because when you do, people will be much less likely to share their contacts with you.
Make Sure You Can Get Paid
Every business owner is in it to make money. It would be a shame if you establish an international businesses and make it hard for your customers to pay you. Accepting credit cards is one of the best ways to get paid internationally. Additionally, you can also provide a business account number for large orders or online payment options like PayPal if that is the preferred payment option for the county you establish your presence in.
Establish Your Presence
Building your brand is very important because, although you might be known domestically, that might not be true for the new market. Start by thinking about what solutions you provide and what people think when they see your branding on signage or an advert. You can also be known for selling a unique product or service in a market that does not have it. All in all, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from other businesses so people know about you and what solutions you can provide them.
Starting an international business or internationally expanding the one you already have can seem daunting but if you follow the right steps, it should be the same as opening a business in a new environment. Just ensure you understand the market, validate that there is enough demand to support your business, and follow all rules and regulations to avoid any legal hiccups.