As your business grows, so will your market size. If you are at a point in the life of your business where you are wondering where your next major shift should be, you might want to consider opening things up to international clientele.
This isn’t always a simple process, but if you have a product or service that you know will perform well in certain places around the world and you are ready to make the investment, then there are a few things you should consider doing in order to make the expansion as successful as possible.
Do Your Research
Before taking any concrete steps, it is important that you do the right market research into the areas of the world that you would like to expand your business to. Because there are so many diverse cultures out there, your product or service might not be a good fit for a particular region. On the other hand, you might have something that is so universal that you know it can perform well pretty much anywhere. You will never know, though, unless you do some solid research into potential markets.
Another aspect of international business that you need to look into has to do with the regulations in place in different countries. While it might be all good and well to market and sell your product in one country, another might have stricter regulations for your industry. If you will have to put your product through a long and expensive testing process, then you might not want to make the investment for that particular international market.
Consider a Local Partner
Once you have done your research and decided upon a location to bring your business to, there are a number of time-consuming things that will need doing on the ground in that location. One of the more important and at times complicated activities on this list is the recruiting and hiring of on-site employees.
Not only can this process require you to be present in the country that you are expanding to, but you will also have to learn about the employee-specific legislation that is in place there. Because there is so much to consider for the hiring of your new international employees, it might be worth taking on a local partner.
A local partner, or a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), can take care of all this for you. For instance, if you have your eyes set on expanding to a region in China, a PEO in China would be a valuable partner.
Understanding the regulations for international businesses seeking to employ local employees can be difficult when you come from a Western country. The right local partner has the knowledge to guide you through what can be a very complex process.
Ultimately, your expansion to an international market won’t be easy or cheap. That being said, doing the right research and finding the best local partner can help set you up for success.