If you are making a success of your business in your home country, then taking it global can be a relatively easy, and fulfilling step. There are many things to consider before expanding globally and you should start by ensuring you have a really solid foundation here at home first, and that you have done some research into the competition overseas, just as you would when starting a new business. Here we look at three of the main considerations before taking your business global.
Lost in Translation
Whilst it might seem an obvious point, overseas trading is going to require some sort of translation services. From marketing to customer service, this needs to be seamless and professional, and can be costly. Be prepared for the expenditure of taking your business to another country. The actual set up could require translation of important documents. Make sure you have someone who can speak both languages to ease the communication side of things.
Going global can mean dealing with a variety of different currencies. It’s important to bear in mind that there are regularly unpredictable fluctuations in the exchange rate. This is something in particular flux currently, post Brexit and US election. Software such as City Index’s Trading Account can help you to stay on top of the currency fluctuations in real time. It is worth considering a forward contract, which allows you to select a fixed rate for the initial trade, until you find your feet. Obviously if the pound strengthens, this means you’ll lose out but it does cover you for predicting the first few months of trade.
Before taking your business overseas one of the important factors to consider is the cultural differences. Even in countries where the population speak the same language, there may be cultural differences. This can affect anything from marketing to the popularity of your business. For example, a thumbs up sign in the middle east is considered to be offensive, so you might want to make sure that you don’t use it as an ‘order complete’ or selecting choice on an international website. There are many other conventions that are specific to different places and it’s vital to check this before launching overseas.