8 Tips To Take Your Small Business International - Karen Salmansohn

8 Tips To Take Your Small Business International

take small business international
If you’re excited to grow your business, you will love these tips to take your small business international.

Small businesses often focus on growth only in their home country. But there are consumers all over the world who might be interested in your products or services.

Even a small business can be taken international to reach even more possible customers and boost success.

I’m here to help with tips to take your small business international. After all, expanding into another country can get your business in front of a whole new set of customers. As a result, you’ll wind up growing your company and earning a lot more money. 

8 Tips To Take Your Small Business International

1. Do Your Homework

If you’re going to take your business overseas, do some research into your market area in the country you’re considering. Make sure that there is some interest in the products or services that you offer.

Ask yourself…

  • What kind of competition is there in the other country in your market area?
  • Which other businesses are already operating in the area you want to grow into?
  • Will you be able to compete
  • What is there that you could you do differently to make sure you stand out? 

If you’re going to expand into a new country, you want to make sure that you aren’t trying to make a move into a market that is already over saturated with businesses that offer something very similar to you and your business. 

2. Learn The Language

Language barriers can be a big challenge to operating a business overseas. Many business owners don’t speak a second language. But English isn’t always spoken by a lot of businesses abroad. At least not as a primary language.

For some international markets, customers will prefer to do business with a company who can present products and materials in their own language. A shared language helps to build trust. 

What to do?

  • Study a second language yourself.
  • Make your business multilingual by hiring native speakers to work in your sales team and customer service.
  • Hire services like a video translation service to get your marketing materials into more languages. 

3. Develop Technological Resources

Technology is a big part of any international business plan. You can use various technological tools to communicate and collaborate with a partner overseas.

These technological resources can help you to…

  • keep in regular contact with a partner in another country
  • save money on travel expenses
  • keep track of shipments
  • manage paperwork
  • keep on top of other important tasks for your business 

4. Learn International Business Principles

Taking your small business international can be very different than running a business in your own country.

You’ll find…

  • language barriers
  • various different legal requirements
  • a range of different cultural customs, rules and expectations

Basically, there are many barriers which can easily lead to many mistakes –  which can then cause big problems. 

If you’re thinking of going international, it could be worthwhile studying for a business degree – with a focus in international business.

The benefits…

  • understand and navigate the process of growing internationally
  • avoid problems and embarrassment
  • learn local customs
  • educate yourself on how to work with government programs which are designed for multinational entrepreneurs

5. Build Relationships

Networking is a key aspect of successfully taking your small business international.

You should try to connect with people…

  • at home (other local businesses that have gone international)
  • abroad

Your networking goals…

  • Network with businesses in your target market so you gather info and help for when you get overseas.
  • Find networking options online
  • Attend trade shows at home that might attract foreign contracts

6. Get Focused

If you’re a small business who wants to go international, you won’t be able to take full advantage of every single opportunity that comes your way. That’s okay. Instead of trying to spread yourself too thin, try to improve the resources that you have.

You need to focus on…

  • ways to become more cost efficient
  • find less expensive labor
  • discover less expensive materials
  • learn how to create a business friendly environment

Reminder:

  • Keep focused on your goals – while you to try not to chase after every opportunity that sounds exciting. 

7. Get Your Resources In Place As Soon As Possible

International entrepreneurs often have a common problem. They do not have all the resources that they need in place from the very start. 

For example…

  • If you discover you have an unreliable supplier, you won’t have alternative places to go – and you’ll experience delays.

If you want your business to go international, you need to plan ahead for all kinds of different scenarios. 

8. Be Prepared For Paperwork

If you’re taking your small business international, remember: Every country has its own set of regulations for businesses.

So, if you’re going international with your business, get ready to fill out piles of paperwork in an organized manner.

How?

  • Set up an organizational system to keep track of any contracts, forms or correspondence. (Make sure this system is easily accessed.)
  • Hire a lawyer who has experience in international business in the country you’re expanding into. (A lawyer will help you to avoid any legal hiccups and keep things above aboard.) 

There are Many Benefits to Taking Your Small Business International

If you’re going to expand your business internationally, you could be setting up  your business for major growth and increased profits.

However, for this international expansion to work, you need to…

  • do your homework
  • research everything in advance
  • network – a lot
  • find local contacts who can help you build your customer base
  • create a local staff
  • learn the language
  • get needed resources into place – including back up plans

With some hard work, you can get your business ready for global expansion and success in a new country. Please know that I’m rooting for you!

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