There are huge benefits to expanding your business internationally. Entering new markets gives you the opportunity to maximize your revenue. You may also be able to find new investors and access new talent who may not have known about your company (or your career opportunities) had you not been expanding. It can also give you an edge over your competitors if they are slow to follow you into this new, international market.
You may be preparing to send your workers abroad to get ready for this international expansion. However, before you do so, there are some things that you need to think about to ensure that your international expansion is a success.
Are They Insured?
While you may be incredibly excited about the expansion, you shouldn’t overlook the legal challenges of entering a new country regardless of whether it’s a business trip or a permanent work abroad. You want to make sure that everything is done by the book. In a new country, where people aren’t used to everything and your employees are in a rush to get ready for the international launch, there are lots of things that can go wrong.
You want to make sure that you are protected in the event of an accident that involves you or your employees. If your employees will be driving around a lot, delivering goods to your new, international retail partners or working to meet with potential clients, you’ll want to get commercial car insurance. Offered as part of general liability insurance, this will cover you, your legal costs, and any damages in the event of an accident.
Are They Fluent in the Language?
Approximately 1.5 billion people in the world speak English, with 360 million people speaking it as their first language. That’s a lot of people and it means that in countries where English isn’t spoken natively, there’s still a good chance that they’ll speak the same language as you. However, to ensure that nothing is lost in translation and that your employees don’t misunderstand some words or phrases, or fail to secure a contract because of a language barrier, you’ll want them to be fluent.
If they don’t have time to attend classes before the international launch, there are platforms where you can learn a language online. These may not be as effective as learning from a native in-person but, if you have little time to learn, they’re still a good idea.
Are They Knowledgeable About the Culture?
Something that often trips companies up when they’re trying to expand internationally is that they don’t understand the needs of their customers. While you will have done some research, you may misunderstand some of the nuances about a culture.
In France, one social norm no-no is asking for ice in your water (beverages in the country tend to be served at room temperature). In Japan, it’s thought of as impolite to tip. These are small things to learn but they could be the difference between getting a client or seeing them choose a local firm.
By expanding internationally, you and your business can find a lot of success. However, this can only be done if you take the proper care with your expansion.