Expanding into foreign markets and becoming an international trader can
propel a small and even large business to new heights. Globalization is a great
way to explore new business opportunities and markets. It helps companies to
spread their wings far and wide instead of depending on just one region,
especially if the market is not doing well or there is too much competition.
Going international might be the right move for your business if you are
looking to sample new markets. Graduating to a global brand, however, is often
not as easy as branching out in the same country. You need to be prepared for
all the challenges associated with making such a move. Here area few essential
tips that should help with the transition.
Understand the Market
Before even thinking of engaging with a foreign market, you should take your time to research extensively about the country and the market in question. Just like expanding into a new local market segment, you need to conduct thorough market analysis; only this time, you may want to take a keen interest in geographic-specific vital factors.
The thing is, cultures and markets vary widely from country to country.
You might find that consumer preferences and market trends are very different
on foreign soil from what you’re used back at home. It’s therefore important to
find out how your brand would fair in an overseas market before you start
pouring resources in the expansion.
It can be difficult to study an overseas market from home conclusively,
so you may need to have some people on the ground researching on your behalf.
You can also work with international correspondents or marketers to get
valuable information about the country.
Establish a Global Presence
Once you’ve decided that your brand and its offering work on foreign soil, you can start thinking about rolling out the expansion and branding your businesses as an international trader. One effective way of doing this is by establishing an online presence that serves both your local and soon-to-be foreign markets.
The internet really does shrink the global community to what some call a
fishbowl. Online presence, maybe through an e-commerce platform, can serve as a
base where people from any part of the world can find and interact with your
business. It’s also an excellent way to advertise that your company operates in
several countries and to identify your enterprise as an international
Accommodate Global Financing
Taking care of finances is a common headache for many international
traders. First, different countries use different currencies whose value does
not always translate linearly. And on top of that, the value of world
currencies can be affected by many external factors. Secondly, not all
countries accept various facilities for convenient money transfers across
All these factors are a problem when it comes to receiving and sending
money for purchases and payments. One way of solving this is by partnering with
a bank that allows for international money transfers.
One such institution is the GBTI bank if Guyana, with the provision of visa cards and electronic banking, individuals and businesses use the bank to transfer funds across various borders. In addition, you may also need to customize your online platform to accept international payments through wired transfers, digital currency, and online wallets.
Navigate Legal Compliance
Every country as a unique set of international trading laws dictating guidelines for compliance with customs, taxes, insurance, and even labour. Most countries are particularly keen to see that international traders follow the laid-out procedures and meet legal requirements. Failure to comply with international trading laws can have severe implications, which depending on the country, may include fines and penalties, incarceration, bans, and denial of business permits.
Trading laws are complicated and can dictate the limits and scope of
some business activities. Besides learning about the rules governing trade in
the foreign market, you should also understand how such laws could affect your
day-to-day business operations and the long-term plan of your enterprise as
Don’t Lose Sight of The Big Picture
You need to have a solid plan when going into the international market
space. Define both your short term and long-term goals for the venture and make
sure you stick to the path that leads to the realization of those goals.
Businesses sometimes venture into international markets without having
clear objectives. You should decide early on what you hope to achieve by
expanding your market scope. Are you there for the long haul, is it just a
business fling, are you hoping to rebrand, or are you leaving the local market
altogether? These are some of the questions you need to have well-thought-out
answers to before going international.
Highlighting these challenges is not meant to scare or deter you from
exploring international markets. It just gives you an idea of what lies ahead
to help you prepare your business for international trading. Take comfort in
the fact that many companies have taken on foreign markets and ended up being