Business expansion is never easy – much less leaping into international territory. Choosing where to go and how to set up your office will not be an easy task. Here are the absolute first steps you need to take to be successful.
Decide on Your Location
This one is the big decision. Your location needs to be carefully decided based on a few factors. First of all, there needs to be some kind of economic promise in your given market. If you’re doing a nonprofit, there has to be room for plentiful operation. Try and get opinions from experts in your field and experts on the country in question. Another factor to consider is if you have some sort of connection to somebody in an advantageous business position of some kind in a certain country – that could change your chances significantly. The last factor to consider is the laws and regulations. Every country is going to have a unique way they regulate your market, so make sure that you know what you’re getting into.
Send Someone to Get it Started
The next step is to start the process. Send somebody who (ideally) has some experience with your market in the given country – or, at the very least, has experience with living in the country itself. If it is at all possible, find someone who speaks the language and has business experience with that language. They’ll need to look into the basics for how to start: finding the commercial property, local managers and employees, advertising, and more. Don’t worry about making huge investments if you can avoid it – temporary housing can meet the needs of your business on every continent.
Thoroughly Oversee the Beginning
Make sure to get a full report of every aspect of the legality, finances, and logistics of your new overseas office. Be on the lookout for anything that could kill the venture early, such as mistakes in registration or other bureaucratic obstacles. Some countries are very particular about foreign business since it can mess with their economy and be both advantageous and harmful. Someone else you should consider consulting with is a foreign business law expert on the country in question – or at least somebody who has gone through the process already and knows what pitfalls to look for.
The beginning is the hard part. The uncertainty about the initial success and profit can be anxiety-inducing, to say the least. But once you’ve got a foothold, you might discover an entirely untapped market for you to enjoy.
Check out this article on when it’s time to shift directions in your business!