Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Ahmad Shahzad
If your business is going international, you’re opening up countless new opportunities. It’s an exciting time. That said, if you want your expansion to be successful, there are critical steps you need to take. Here are six of the most important ones.
1. Analyze Market Potential
You already know that understanding your target market is essential. But across countries, your target market might be different. Start by looking at the total addressable market (TAM) and the serviceable addressable market (SAM). Take your time with research, too. The more accurate it is, the greater your chance of success.
Depending on your findings, you should be able to start to understand which of your products and services will do well internationally. It’s also wise to be open to offering new products or services. If you want to succeed in a new country, you will need to make sure most of what you offer will appeal to an international audience.
2. Establish Consistent Brand Standards
If you have a brick-and-mortar business across multiple storefronts, you likely know that establishing brand standards from location to location can be tough. Maintaining brand standards across nations is a lot harder!
To ensure your teams in different countries deliver a consistent experience, it’s a good idea to make a “brand book,” or an electronic compilation of logos, fonts, guidelines for dealing with customers, etc. If your international office will be mostly made up of people who speak a different language, hire a skilled translator.
3. Hire International Partners And Team Members
An international business partner can make all the difference in the world when it comes to international expansion. When you choose a business partner who is already successful in the country you’re expanding to, you gain a team member with valuable insight into market trends, cultural norms, and more. Take your time when hiring other team members, too. The team you choose will shape the new country’s perception of the brand.
4. Find The Right Insurance
When it comes to protecting your employees, your equipment, and your cargo, commercial trucking insurance is a must. This is especially true if you haul cargo for customers or cargo your company doesn’t own. Insurance laws will vary greatly depending on your business type and where you’re expanding. Since the world of international insurance is often a complex one, be sure to talk to a trusted expert in the field before selecting your insurance!
5. Customize Your Products Or Services
Before launching in a new country, you’ll need a thorough understanding of that country’s market trends and social and cultural norms. If you keep everything the same, your business will be an outsider in the eyes of your new market. Instead, gain a deep enough understanding of your new target market to determine which products and services will do well. A product that’s a best-seller in the United States might flop in a country with a vastly different culture.
This is where having a good international business partner comes into play. Someone who is familiar with the new country and also has your company’s best interests in mind will be able to guide you when it comes to deciding which products or services to launch. Research on your end is important, but someone experienced with the local culture will be much more effective than research alone.
6. Ensure Customer Service Is Available To Everyone
If your company has a call center or even a remote customer service team, you’ll need to make sure you have customer service representatives across each time zone you’re in. Remember that, as a new company, the impression you make on your first customers is especially important.
If you’re expanding to a country where another language is spoken, hire customer service representatives who are fluent in that language. If customers in your new country can reach your customer service representatives but can’t effectively communicate with them, the true purpose of customer service is defeated.
Finding the Right Global Payment Solution for Your Business
Expanding your business on international platforms can bring significant revenue. Still, it also comes with new challenges, including handling payments in foreign currencies. Choosing the right payment solution for your business can be daunting, but it’s essential for success. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a global payment solution.
Currency Support: Ensure that the payment solution you choose supports the currencies of the countries you’re expanding into. Offering payment options in local currencies will make it easier for customers to complete transactions. It may reduce the likelihood of abandoned carts.
Payment Types: Your payment solution should be able to accept various payment methods popular in your target markets, including credit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers. Offering a range of payment options will increase customers’ likelihood of purchasing.
Security and Compliance: Ensure that your payment solution is PCI DSS compliant and adheres to local data protection regulations. Customer data protection is critical, and non-compliance can lead to significant financial penalties and damage your reputation.
Integration with Your Website: Chooses a payment solution that integrates seamlessly. A smooth payment process will enhance the customer experience and reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment.
Cost: Global payment solutions charge various fees, including transaction, setup, and monthly fees. Consider the fees and how they will impact your business’s profit margin.
Customer Support: Select a payment solution with excellent customer support. You’ll need to resolve any issues or questions promptly, especially since time differences impact response times.
Selecting the right global payment solution is vital for expanding your business internationally.
Even though your business is established in one country, it’s important to realize that the process of establishing it in another country might be a bit different. By taking the time to understand where your business is expanding, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.