Moving from your local market to becoming a national business used to be a big step, but thanks to the reach of the internet, being a company that offers its services and goods to much of a country is much less of a feat. Becoming an international business, reaching markets beyond your border, and even globalizing is becoming increasingly viable for those who can master their local markets or see an opportunity overseas.
Growing globally can yield many benefits, including extending the lifespan of existing offerings by bringing them to new markets, reducing your dependence on the politics and trends of your current market, and developing further by exploring the practices of another country. Of course, there are many aspects that can get in your way, even if you do successfully set up shop in another country.
Keeping your business running well in two or more nations can be very tricky, and it can be easy to get it wrong and misread the foreign market. So here, we’re going through some of the core elements that you should prepare your business for, or adapt into your current international business, and some criteria to consider should you be thinking about expanding beyond your borders.
Language is everything
If you want to reach your intended audience or even potential business partners, you really need to get to grips with the language. While it would certainly help, you don’t necessarily have to learn the language of the new market yourself. However, you need to ensure that elements like your website, your products, and your intended team have mastered the language and are fully localized.
You only have to look as far as Facebook to see how appallingly wrong even the biggest companies can get it by not properly localized for each language of the countries that they do business in – in this instance, citing their English-focussed algorithms. It’s an integral step, and it’s not a cheap step, either, but doing so will allow you to uphold the same standards that got your business to a state where it can consider further growth.
Simply put: you cannot just rely on Google Translate to do the work for you. You need professional translators who can both make your existing content readable, but also localize it so that the copy makes sense to your new market and relates to them. A prime example of this can be seen in online casino gaming in the Middle East. None of the brands are native, but the highest-rated online casino sites have localized their language options. Commonly, they offer Arabic, English, and French, but some have also integrated a Persian option. This is something they will advertise, too, in order to try and promote their businesses. They go above and beyond providing information to Arabic players, by providing guides about VPN, security, anonymous payment methods, and legality of online gambling in Arabic countries.
Strong communications with your new team
As shown above, it’s essential to bring together a team that understands the local market, speaks the local language fluently, and knows the ways of the business. However, even with the most far-flung efforts to globalize, you need to ensure that operations don’t become detached. You can hire remote and local experts as much as you want, but your communications will be key. Having regular meetings that keep the other side in check – while also keeping you in the loop of their operations – is essential.
Luckily, you don’t have to plant a key member of your existing team to oversee the day-to-day, nor do you need to regularly travel to achieve the level of communications needed. You can instead turn to multiple business software programs. There are plenty of international hiring platforms, sublime business video chat and presentation tools, and easy-to-use project management tools to oversee project progress.
Assess your readiness for international expansion
Knowing the need to fully localize, establish, and regularly communicate with a team on the other side makes the globalization effort all the more daunting, and so it should. Growing and continuing to expand in new regions with new services is a hefty task, but the potential benefits of landing an international push are too tempting to embrace for many.
Still, knowing when international expansion is needed and where you can viably go is essential. Even the largest brands in your home nation may struggle to establish a footprint in other countries. So, firstly, you’ll need capital – both financial and human – to be able to pull off the time and resource-taxing process. Next, a deep-dive analysis should be performed and analyzed to ensure that the move won’t result in a loss, looking at how accepting the new market would be of a foreign business and if the demand for your service exists.
It’s a huge task to explore new markets, let alone establish yourself in one, but there are services, particularly online ones, that are setting an example of how to do so, as well as help your expansion.