For a business focused on growth, building a business overseas could be the avenue for long-term growth. The world is rapidly becoming interconnected, providing opportunities for businesses to serve customers from different countries. This has raised the need to take operations to other regions in a bid to serve these customers better. Of course, this comes with other benefits such as increased investment opportunities, exposure to larger talent pools, and increased brand recognition among others.
However, thriving in a foreign land takes more than just establishing an entity and placing your products there. If you are to succeed in overseas markets, you need to have a sure proof strategy. Here are some tips that can help you build a business overseas successfully.
1. Study the market
The main reason why you decided to build a business overseas could be that you realized a good market for your offering. However, your study of the market shouldn’t stop at establishing whether you have a ready market for your products. You need to analyze the competition that you will likely face in the new market. Look at the challenges that the existing businesses are facing. This way, you will have a clear picture of what you are getting into. Most importantly, you will be able to come up with a strategy on how to navigate the market.
2. Set up a local team
For all the projects that you are going to handle, you need an able team behind you. These are the people who will help you execute your dream in that country. In this case, you want individuals who are ready to run with you no matter what. However, you need to put it into consideration that most people find it easy to do business with people who speak their language. It is very important that you recruit from the locality.
You also need to ensure that you are hiring them compliantly. Nevertheless, you can save yourself from understanding the labor laws jargon by leaving the hiring to a PEO provider, such as Global PEO, or other providers, that has been helping companies expand internationally by offering reliable PEO, payroll, and recruitment services.
3. Understand the local culture
Cultures differ from one place to another. You need not assume that how people do things at home is the same as in the country where you are starting a business. Otherwise, you might end up offending the people, making them shy away from your business.
Take your time to study the local culture, taking note of cultural nuances that seem okay to you but offending to the people. Of course, your local team will help you in that area. However, you need to understand it yourself for when you have to host visitors and local investors.
4. Localize your business
Most people want to associate with a business that they can relate to. They resonate better with businesses that offer them unique and personalized experiences. In this case, you need to localize every aspect of your business to reflect the way of life of the locals.
This includes adopting accepted packaging, product designs, and payment methods. If you have a website, you need to translate the text into the local language. In addition, ensure that the colors and images that you are using for your branding and on your website are culturally accepted in the country.
Localizing your business will help penetrate the market much easier and build a positive brand image.
5. Know the locals
Every business needs a good strategy in order to succeed. Moreover, a good strategy starts with understanding the target customer. In this case, you need to immerse yourself with the people on the ground. Get up and get communing and socializing with them. This will help you understand their likes and preferences, the local trends, and their spending habits. You can then use these valuable insights to adjust your business strategy accordingly.
Building a thriving business overseas starts by understanding the ground that you are venturing into. This means understanding the local business environment and the people and then adjusting to how things are done in that country. However, you also need to ensure that you are complying with the laws and regulations of the land in order to avoid legal tussles that can easily drag you down.
Rachel Eleza, Growth Marketing Director at UpSuite and a part-time writer.