Internationalising your business is a really exciting time, but you need to make sure that you are taking precautions in order to make it a success. Take your time to make sure that you get this right and you will reap the benefits when your business becomes an international success! So, let’s get into it and find out what you need to do to protect your business.
Consult With Financial Advisor
The first thing you must do when considering internationalisation is to consult with a financial advisor. There are so many expenses involved with going international, so you must be realistic about whether or not this is something you can afford. The last thing you want to do is rush into going international and then lose everything that you had worked so hard to build originally. So, create a full financial plan and if you have any doubts over whether you are ready, don’t take the leap just yet.
Do Full Review of Entire Supply Chain
Our next tip is to make sure you do a full review of your entire supply chain. This includes every small detail, to make sure that you have the capacity to fulfil the demand that you are predicting will come when you expand internationally. Be realistic about your absolute max capacity, then plan how much you are able to expand in order to maintain your standards as a company. Take this expansion slowly and be realistic, otherwise, you might really struggle to fulfil orders to the quality you usually do and this could crush your brand’s reputation.
Make Sure Your Website Is Up To Scratch
If your business relies on a website, then you must make sure that your website is up to scratch when internationalising. This will involve choosing the correct subdomains and subdirectories, making sure you have currency converters and language converters if relevant and making sure that your website has the capacity to function effectively globally. You should work with an SEO or web development agency that specialises in internationalisation, as this is a key step that you need to get right in order to make the best possible first impression when launching abroad.
Understand Your Business Model
Remember, all businesses aren’t the same. So, before you make the jump and launch into new international markets, the first thing you need to do is a complete and comprehensive run-through of your business model, ensuring that you know it inside and out. It’s important to see early on whether or not your business will benefit from expanding across new borders and all the information you need to know this is within your business model.
Some businesses naturally and inherently lend themselves to internationalisation and have the potential to be globally successful right from the very beginning. Other businesses need a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of global markets and how they differ. When looking through your business model you can get an indication of whether or not your business is suited to different markets and, if you need more analysis into whether international audiences will be receptive to the products that you offer, then you’ll be able to gauge this more efficiently.
Know Which Type Of Internationisation You Want
Internationalisation spreads across a large spectrum, so when it comes to understanding precautions of the process, understanding which type of internationalisation you should take is vital.
Exportation is one area of internationalisation to explore and is perhaps the one that most businesses will consider, as it is essentially selling your products in another country. With exportation, there is no transfer of production lines or offices and, instead, your products are simply sold internationally.
Multinational companies have numerous autonomous branches all over the world that take care of adapting products and offers to fit in with their market, whilst still keeping a central office where the business is most active. Examples of multinational businesses include Coca-Cola, Apple and Sony.
Transnational businesses are similar to multinational ones as they also adapt their offers to suit different audiences. However, the difference is that it doesn’t have a central management base and all branches are seen as equal. Transnational businesses focus on expanding the business overall, whilst looking to lower costs and dividing departments to suit the resources and requirements of the country it is in.
Get The Right Insurance
As soon as you have decided that you are going to go ahead with the internationalisation, getting the right insurance should be the very next priority. It is absolutely essential that you protect your business financially with the right insurance, in all areas. You may need to work with credit insurance brokers if you work on any kind of trade basis, export insurance, all kinds of safety cover, legal defence costs and so much more.