Growing your business is fun and rewarding. Finally, the fruits of your labour are paying off and you’re starting to see some real momentum! It’s not just about staying afloat, it’s time to conquer unknown lands—and we don’t just mean metaphorically.
With today’s business trends, it’s becoming easier to engage with an audience within markets geographically distant to you. This is mostly due to the power of the internet and the development of marketing techniques via channels like social media. However, it’s not as easy as just creating a Facebook ad and throwing it up for the world to see. Even if you do capture that client, are you ready for everything that comes with international business?
You will need some legal guidance when branching out into the world of international business. There are many things to consider that you won’t even know about until you stumble upon them and panic. Ask an experienced lawyer to guide you through trade agreements, customs, duties, supplier and retail agreements, etc. It sounds expensive to hire a trained professional like this, but he or she could save you thousands of dollars in fines for not doing it correctly. Something to consider is that they do this all the time anyways, and therefore won’t have to spend as much time researching and “wondering” as you will. They know how this works—just follow their lead.
Lack of proper translation is a tell a tale sign of low-quality. High-end companies with a professional reputation hire experts in English to French translation services, or for whatever language they need, rather than to risk getting it wrong themselves. For things like legal documents to small things like packaging disclaimers, getting it right means that consumers and other companies take you seriously. Otherwise you could end up on a thread on Reddit, and not for a good reason.
If you are marketing to a different culture, you might want to contract a marketing company in your target audience that will be able to translate your service or product into something the locals understand. This isn’t just regarding language, but also symbolism, music, uses, and more, which will make more sense to those who will see it. You might be able to get away with something closer to you if your target market abroad is similar to what you have at home, but otherwise, don’t risk missing a connection with your foreign audience, even worse, offending them.
While a lot can be done online nowadays, there is still much to be said about face-to-face interaction. Having someone representing your brand at tradeshows, at meetings with potential retailers and partners is worth every penny. It puts a face to your brand, a personality to interact with, and more trust in your company as it is more than just an email address. In most cases, it takes some time to find and develop this role in your company, but when you’ve got it, you’re golden and ready to grow. If you feel that no one else can do this but you, see if you have a manager whom you feel comfortable leaving operations with while you’re gone. If yes, then try the brand rep hat on yourself for a bit, and if no, you know that it’s going to have to be someone else.
There are plenty of other necessities that you will find that you need, but these services will help you take the first steps and then lead you to figure out what else is essential for your growth as a company. While you might think that you are taking short cuts by doing everything yourself, you have to keep the perspective that if your company starts operating internationally, you won’t be able to do it all yourself anyway. You might as well start transitioning more into your management role now.