Any startup, small business or a mid-sized organization cannot enter into the big-league unless they expand in a proper way. After globalization, the term, "expansion" has assumed more significance than ever because it does not only mean expanding within the country or territory. A business has to scale to stay relevant and with all the rapid strides made in telecommunication, it is now very easy than ever to export products internationally.
Growing a business on a global scale can also mean that the sales life of a product or service can be improved significantly. The dependence on an existing market can be reduced and destabilizing fluctuations due to demand cycles or seasonal changes can be offset along with many other distinct advantages. However, for any startup or mid-size organization, resources may be limited and so planning must be done properly before stepping on the global scene. Appended below are some economic ways that can be helpful for a business which aspires to take its products or services to its interested global audience.
Look out for MFN status
Every country designates an MFN status to some other countries depending on trade, cultural and social ties. Making business contacts in an MFN-favored state can be beneficial for any small or mid-sized organization so that facilities like lower import duties can be availed. Moreover, one can also get instant access into other's market and that would mean spending fewer overheads.
Try to establish contact
Modern communication tools and gadgets can be very helpful for a business to make a foreign distributor. With the advent of the internet and VoIP phone system, sufficient information can be accessed and passed on to a third party and making a business partner can be easier than before.
Meeting people can be helpful
Meeting a lot of relevant persons for scaling a business can prove to be helpful. Interested people in trade groups, in branches of Chamber of Commerce in foreign countries and international business consultants, can provide a wide variety of input that can be very useful sources of information on a variety of aspects. Meeting them can lead to more relevant information which can finally be used when a business starts to grow.
A proactive approach is highly needed
Being involved in one's business is very much required at an initial stage when operations start in a foreign country. It is always a good idea to visit the country, stay there for some time, understand the ethos to get a hang of the culture so that the business can be tuned in to local preference. Hence, being proactive can help in starting a new business on foreign shores. Business partners will also like an active involvement in this manner and a business can set-up within the smallest possible time.
Look out for emerging markets
In order to scale themselves up, emerging economies offer more freedom to businesses and these can be the go-to places for businesses if one wants to start operations in a foreign land. Emerging markets also come out with sops regularly and these should be identified and realized at the right time. Markets like Brazil, India, and China offer higher growth compared to the likes of countries in Europe as they have become more or less saturated.
Get productive people on-board
People who have extensive knowledge of international trade can prove to be valuable while conducting international business. One can look out for message boards, databases and create links with such persons at international trade fairs and even in foreign embassies. With their rich experience in the subject, they can prove to a be a valuable asset for the company in later years of operation.
Operational differences must be known
There can be many types of operational differences between two countries and these must be known precisely at the outset itself. For example, an item in one country can be prohibited in the other and therefore thorough research must be made to ensure these types of anomalies do not occur after doing all the groundwork. The financial and legal aspects of a destination country should be known thoroughly.
Use government resources
For a small business or a startup, resources can be limited at the beginning. Hence, it is always recommendable to use government resources as far as possible for promoting one's business in a foreign land. Information can be received from government sources free of cost and that can be very valuable for any small business. As an example, in the US, State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP) and the National Export Initiative (NEI) can be very helpful small and mid-sized businesses so that they can export their products or services. Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade helps with providing quality feedback and the needed intervention for US-based companies.
Appreciate cultural and local customs
It is very important to honor the local rules and regulations of a country where business is to be promoted. The ways of communication, conducting business, and an understanding of local values is very much important so that there is a business success in a foreign land.
By adhering to these points, a small business can surely expect to scale its operation and start performing in a foreign land without much difficulty. Additionally, some other aspects like local language, favorable climate, etc. can also be influencing factors in some cases. Hence, these aspects must also be considered.