When you’ve been running a successful shop for some time and you want to take it to the next level, finding the right opportunity to scale is key. Beyond opening new domestic locations and offering new services alongside the shopping experience, taking the business international is one of the most routes of doing just that. However, to many people, that can seem like an almost impossible barrier to cross. Here, we’re going to look at how hard it may or may not be to open up shop overseas.
Easy access to the worldwide market
There is one development that has entirely changed how we think of and gain access to the international market. We’re talking, of course, about the internet. Even the smallest online sellers can use marketplace websites like eBay to offer all their products around the world if they’re willing to. Ecommerce practically removes most of the barriers when it comes to selling overseas, but it does involve taking into account international digital marketing, long-distance transport and delivery costs, and more. It’s not exactly easy, but it’s certainly less of a barrier to entry than setting up a physical business overseas.
Know your market
When it comes to making a decision on where to set your business up, the demand for the products you sell should be the number one consideration. If your business originates in a country that you have lived in all your life, you are already going to be partially aware of where the market is and what kind of demographics you might be targeting, supplementing that intuition with market research. When it comes to overseas business, you might be at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding the market. Working with overseas market research teams like https://www.toluna-group.com/ can help you answer the important questions of whether there is a market for your business, demand for your products, any competition you need to worry about and more.
The language barrier
No business owner can afford to be hands-off about expanding overseas unless they’re the head of a huge conglomerate and can simply delegate the process. If you’re not in that position, you need to be able to communicate where you plan to do business. From setting up service agreements with partners to promoting the business, you have to be able to speak the language, or at least be in the process of learning. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to learn a language today if you’re willing to put the time in for it. Apps like https://www.rosettastone.com simplify the process significantly, so consider getting your education started when you’ve narrowed down which country you want to expand to.
The other language barrier
When it comes to translating your website copy, your product descriptions, your marketing, and your brand, knowing the language will help. But different countries have not just different languages, but different cultures as well. Those cultures can determine which messages and which images have as much impact as they should. Knowing the culture should also help you avoid any faux pas, such as showing kissing or embraces in countries where displays of affection are taboo when shown in public. Working with a localization team can be crucial to ensure you avoid any marketing disasters and to make all your messaging as relevant to the target market as it can possibly be.
Let’s get physical
If you’re planning on setting up a physical store in the country that you’re looking at, then finding the right location is crucial. First, you want to get to know the market as best as possible. Sites like https://www.rumah.com/ruko-disewa/di-area-jakarta-pusat-idjk02 can help you get a direct look at the market, seeing the costs of finding the property that best suits your needs. Working with commercial real estate broker who specializes in overseas property is essential, as well. You need advisors who know the market and who won’t misrepresent any part of it to you, the client. That’s why it’s also important to have that independent research, so you can tell whether or not a broker has your best interests in mind or whether they have other motives.
Building new networks
No business is an island. From customers and clients to partners and service providers, we all rely on networks to keep us running. For stores, you may be looking at POS and inventory equipment suppliers, wholesalers, delivery providers, and the like to ensure that your business runs as smoothly as possible. For that reason, it’s worth looking at https://www.kaplaninternational.com/blog/5-tips-for-networking-abroad to see how you can start building a network overseas. You should be networking well in advance of the move. The more connections you have before you arrive, the easier it is to make partnerships when you’re starting the launch of the store. Just ensure you do a little research on the business etiquette of where you plan on expanding to, as well.
The letter of the law
Anyone opening a business should have some grasp of business law or at least the most basic missteps that they don’t want to make. The same applies when you’re moving overseas. There may be big differences in tax law, regulations, labor laws, trade law, and more than you should get to grips with as soon as possible. Take the time to find a business lawyer who not only knows the local ways, but one who is experienced in helping foreign businesses set up shop domestically. They are much more likely to know the key differences that you should be aware of, as well as a more comprehensive view on keeping your business compliant above all else.
Taking your store international might not be impossible, but it certainly isn’t a quick process, either. It takes research, setup, and investment. Of course, doing it digitally is always easier, so a store owner needs to thoroughly consider how they want to go about it. Hopefully, the tips above give you an idea of what’s in store for you if you do decide to go global with your business.