A globalised and digitally connected world means that your business isn’t restricted to one country. Expanding your business overseas gives you access to new audiences and a little protection should anything happen to destabilise your home market.
But, as with all things in business, proceed with caution. While the saying ‘no risk, no reward’ holds true, it’s important to fully understand what’s at stake before making the decision.What you need to consider:
It’s essential that you understand the tax implications of this new market before you invest any money or time into your business development. Make sure that this is your first step, and talk to us, we can help.
The local market
Don’t assume that what’s working for you locally will necessarily transfer to a new market. It’s important to research trends, and set objectives specific to the new market. Your product or service might enjoy a lack of competition at home, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find an equal overseas.
As well as market trends, pay attention to the political and economic climate. Make sure that you’re engaged with what’s happening in the area, and understand anything that could be
poised to disrupt your business success.
Whether you’ll be shipping from your home country or looking to despatch locally, it’s likely that this could cost you more than it does at home. Don’t forget that if you are using local services for either shipping or production you will probably need to make at least one trip to meet the team who will be supporting your business.
There are a number of changes that you may need to make to your website. Customers may prefer to shop in their own currency rather than relying on a conversion at check out. You may decide to include some local imagery or add other touches to demonstrate that your new potential customers aren’t just an afterthought.
If your new market speaks a different primary language, you will have to decide whether you will translate your site or let Google Translate do the job for you. Also, find a local language speaker who can check that your product names or company name don’t mean anything that could offend once translated.
Finally, if your new customers are in the EU, you will need to make sure that your business and the way you plan to manage customer data is GDPR compliant (a regulation that protects the data and privacy of EU citizens).
Dealing with customers in a different time zone may mean hiring additional customer support staff so that any queries can be dealt with quickly.
Taking your business overseas is a great way to grow your small business. But, as with all things, it’s important to plan carefully and make sure that you understand the implications.
Talk to us about your expansion plans, we can help.