When you know your customers, and know them well, expanding your business beyond the borders of “home” make sense. Now, you need to make sure you’re ready for the global market.
To prepare your business for global expansion, follow these tips to get your business booming from the beginning.
Legal, cultural and regulatory barriers
What’s standing in your way? European value added tax, import duties and fees, or local culture and superstition? No matter what the problems or reasons for a delay, strengthen your network base now.
Create relevant connections with others in the areas ripe for your new global expansion (the sooner, the better). These shouldn’t be one-sided contacts either. What expertise can you provide? Get to know the movers and shakers in your key segments so you can stay on top of the latest news.
These relationships offer a unique vantage point into the local community. If you hit roadblocks in the form of local laws and regulations, or have questions about tax laws, your rooted contacts can guide you in the correct (and legal) way to overcome issues by providing examples and guidance close to the source.
Since your business is going to extend its reach, you’ll need to up your customer service game to keep up with demand. Customer questions, complaints and sales or support departments will need a boost. Consider a cloud call center to take the hassle out of communication.
Customers expect options. They want to reach out to companies via social media, SMS, live agents and then some. When you expand your market, you have to expand the type of support you provide. On-demand scalability can help you avoid long wait times and maintain peak performance during anticipated or unexpected traffic spikes.
Have you made your website, content and references compatible with your target market? A US operation will differ in terms of spelling, monetary value and measurement from a UK-based company.
Your company needs to offer alternate translations for your favored segments in branding across the board. Spoken languages are a popular place to begin. Don’t forget to include right-to-left translations to further expand your reach.
Alternate payment methods
Different locations, different payment methods. Your once-local business now must offer viable forms of payment to those in other countries. What currency does your overseas customer use?
While credit cards are an easy base unit to accept, consider other options. PayPal, Stripe and Skrill make online payments a snap. Research what sort of payment options your competitors are using and follow suit.
Incorporate alternate payment methods to reflect your new, diverse client base so you can keep expanding.
Grow your business
Expanding a business beyond the place you call home doesn’t have to be stressful. Network early and form mutually beneficial connections to guide you on your way.
Don’t neglect the support side of things. Avoid abysmal reviews and invest in communication upgrades like cloud call centers. If someone has an issue, a question or a media inquiry, you don’t want to make them wait. Finally, don’t frustrate clients with a lack of globally acknowledged payment platforms.
Opening a business to the world will take time and energy. Once the right processes are in place, it’s almost smooth sailing. Keep these tips in mind for global expansion success.