19 Feb Going Global: Domestic Business to International
Business—small, large or international – it has always fascinated me.
As a child I used to pretend with my sibling that I was a business woman working at a desk. I don’t know where I got the idea. When my family played Monopoly, I was the banker. I wanted to manage and make decisions.
I had other dreams as well and my journey has not been a straight shot to being a business owner, but it’s interesting how my dream from childhood has come full circle.
A Dream Realized
For business owners who are fascinated by the process – managing people and tasks, making decisions, and influencing how your business evolves and expands – have you thought about how expansive you want to get?
For some entrepreneurs the dream is expanding into international markets. We are a global economy now, and many business owners who have made millions have found a way grow internationally.
How do they do this?
Growing your business into the international space is much like when you started your business in the United States.
In addition to the US considerations, to expand into the international marketspace you will want to examine:
- Market Research: What does your target market in Europe or Switzerland like (or France or whatever your country of choice is where you want to expand)? This might involve, not just sitting behind the computer, but going to the country to get a feel of it. You’ll want to know if that country’s infrastructure can support your product. If it has to be shipped, will the roads, delivery trucks, or planes be able to accommodate the method of transport needed?
- Contacts: Relationships are important. Who do you know that can help you get connected to the market and facilitate your goods or services in that country? Or who do you need to get to know? Is there a language barrier?
- Laws: Oh, here we go with the legal side, but it’s very important. The larger you get the more you have to lose. If you want to get into international markets you’ll need to know whether there will be extra tariffs or taxes on your products, are there restrictions on imports or exports? Does the country have a history of corruption? If it does then you will want to operate very carefully, and be careful who you hire and contract work out to because you’re ultimately responsible.
Before starting your business in another country, it is wise to not only consult legal counsel but also read up on some of the laws that you need to be aware of when selling your goods or services internationally.