Going global and taking a business international has many advantages and disadvantages. Everything that is involved should be considered and discussed before such an expansion is sought.
There are several areas of communication that must be considered when business is being done internationally. Not only do people from different countries speak many different languages, there are always cultural differences that must be taken into consideration. In some locations, the act of touching another person in any way, is forbidden and may actually be taken as an insult to the natives of the country. Certain words and phrases that are acceptable and complimentary in the US are not in some other countries, even if the phrase is said in the appropriate language.
If a company is planning to do a permanent expansion into another country, they should seek to hire people from that location to handle their business for them. This often helps to get around the language and culture barriers. Finding a local to help with business matters can help the company assimilate into the new country much faster. It also helps because having someone native tell the citizens that the product or services is worthy is good advertisement. If someone local cannot be found or hired, it is imperative to do as much research as possible into the intended country’s culture and customs before commencing business.
Business executives should prepare to change some of their standard policies, if they expect to be profitable on a global scale. The exchange of money, the procedures used and policies made must all fit the typical methods used by the particular country of interest, even if they seem far different from US policies. When culture differences are detected, they must be respected and accommodated.
It is a good idea to scope out the area before expanding a business internationally. Choose the location that is most appropriate for your particular industry and visit the area to get a feel for it, if possible. A lot of the success of new expansions depends on the current need for a certain product or service in a specific area of the world. Make sure the location you want to expand to is in need of the company’s services; otherwise, it could turn out to be a huge waste of money and effort with no potential for success. This can cause enough financial stress on a company to make it close down, either temporarily or permanently.
Having a well-thought out business plan ahead of time is the best idea for any company at all, and especially one with aspirations to expand into other countries. There are many things that must be considered and designing a good expansion plan is an excellent way to cover all of them.