[su_dropcap style=”flat”]S[/su_dropcap]O, YOU STARTED with an idea. Then that idea has grew into a functioning, profitable business. Now, that business has grown enough that you’re preparing to expand it overseas. I bet you didn’t see this coming when you first thought of starting your firm! Making your business international can promise all kinds of rewards. It certainly isn’t easy though! Here are some great tips to bear in mind.
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The first thing you should take with you is that pitching can be drastically different. You’ve probably got a pretty good idea of selling your business in your home market. However, when the market and the location changes, the pitch has to change too. Depending on where you’re expanding to, this might mean a few easy tweaks or a complete overhaul. In the US, pitches need to be concise and to the point, and usually only last about a half hour. In most European countries though, these meetings usually last an hour or two. Far eastern cultures can go even longer. Obviously your pitches will vary from idea to idea. Still, it pays to do some research into the local custom. Translation services could be an idea!
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There are certain necessary changes for entering any new market. However, you don’t need to reinvent every last product or service. If you’ve had success in your current market with a product, then embrace it. There’s no reason that it can’t or won’t be a success in your new market. In fact, success in one country can often be a strong precursor to success in another. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, provided you have some numbers to back it up. A good track record in a foreign market isn’t a guarantee of success. However, if you have one, it will make your pitch a lot stronger, regardless of where you are. If there’s anything too alien about your pitch, I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough!
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Finally, make sure all your budgeting is solid. Setting your business up overseas is a big operation. As you can imagine, it’s exceedingly expensive. You’ll need to think about legal fees, marketing, acquisitions, salaries and much more. Depending on the country you’re moving to, some of these costs might be greater than others. The UK, for example, is notoriously expensive to set up in. Before you go ahead with the expansion, it’s a good idea to have a look in the war chest. Set strict limits on what you’ll spend on what. Ensure you have enough capital to avoid having to fundraise after your big launch. A successful launch is important, but the expenditure doesn’t end there! You’ll need all the resources you can get to keep your business running in its new market.
Expanding your business into international territory is a large, complex move. Although there are certainly challenges, planning ahead goes an extremely long way. Just like when you set up over here, the initial period is the hardest. If you continue to grow overseas, the rewards will be absolutely incredible!