Key steps to expanding your business globally

Expanding internationally creates many opportunities and is something that can really drive the growth of a company. Find out the key steps you need to take.

There are many reasons to grow globally as a business, such as reaching new markets and taking advantage of new expertise. However, it is also a big step and many things need to be considered before opening a new branch.

Consider payments and currency 

Even though you might offer the same product, the payment systems that customers are used to may be different to those you previously worked with. There might be different legal and tax requirements for accepting international payments. If you are dealing in a different currency, consider the currency exchange rate and how it might affect the prices of your products or services. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

You will also have to think about the requirements for transferring money from one country to another and even how to send money abroad to your business, such as finding a reliable money transfer in Europe. Luckily, there are local providers in every country that can help you set up your business and choose the right payment options. 

Reduce language barriers

You are reaching a new customer base which may mean that your company website needs to be translated into a different language. Hiring a translation agency to translate and localise all of your product descriptions and text that appears on your products may also mean that you need to redesign your products to make them more suitable for your new customer base. 

Culturally considerate marketing

It is very important that you stay culturally considerate when setting up a business in another country. Work with local marketing teams and take their advice.

For example, a marketing slogan might work great in one country but not make any sense, sound odd or even offensive in another country. KFC’s slogan ‘finger licking good’ makes perfect sense to customers in the United States, but in Chinese it actually translates to ‘we’ll eat your fingers off’, Les Roches explains. Studying the competition to understand how to appeal to your customers can help. 

Embrace employee multiculturalism

Companies with employees from diverse backgrounds are usually much stronger, compared to businesses in which the majority of staff have the same or a similar background. ‘Diverse companies are more profitable and more likely to achieve long-term growth as an entity and in their industry’, according to a report by MarketWatch. It also contributes to a healthier and more inclusive work environment in which everyone feels comfortable.

Finding a local distributor

You could connect with distributors at trade shows, online B2B marketplaces and professional networks. Read local trade publications regularly and take advantage of government resources. You might also meet business partners at trade associations or meet them through a colleague or one of your existing business partners. 

Opening a branch in another country has a lot of potential benefits but also needs to be planned carefully.