It can get to a certain point with a lot of businesses where it is time to expand. For many businesses, the key to being able to reach the next step is by going international. Becoming an international business can widen your market; there is no dependency on a single market anymore. You get to experience different economies and different demands.
Don’t get me wrong, it does have its negative aspects. Having an international business isn’t for everyone. It can be very costly for small business to become international. It requires money and expertise over in the different countries that you wish to expand to. All of this takes a lot of time too. But if your business is ready to expand, what do you do next?
Visit Countries and Meet People
With all of the technology that we have, it can be tempting to do meetings via Skype or through conference calls. This is fine when a business is established. But in the early stages, visiting in person, and meeting and interviewing candidates yourself is key. To be successful, you need to build relationships and make sure you have the right team in place. You can see how processes work too. If you can visit a distribution centre, you can understand how they are running things and how it works in that country.
There are some particular countries that place a large emphasis on building relationships. Countries like China, for example, enjoy long meals and meetings with business partners.
Get International Contracts in Place
If your business involves the movement of goods from one country to another, you need to get the right contracts in place. You will want to have a freight contract set up. If your new factory or distribution centre is abroad, you want to negotiate a contract for the best price. They will need to know what you expect of them and how often it needs to happen. Start with someone like Sea Wing freight services and make sure that you get the best contract possible.
Make Plans for the Future
You will want to get plans in place for the future. If the business does boom after you have gone abroad, then you need to have expansion plans in place. It doesn’t need to be in fine detail, but you need to be able to keep up with demand. Will you need a new sales office? Will you need to hire more managers? It all needs a plan.
Check In Each Month
Some countries may do business differently to yours. You need to make sure that periodic check-ins happen. You will want at least monthly reports. Make sure your team are aware of the metrics that you want to be reported as it may be different to what they are expecting. If they aren’t able to produce such reports for you, then it may well be worth getting a new team or distribution in place.
Do you think your business is ready to go the next level?