Doing business abroad

In today’s digital world, international expansion isn’t just for the big boys. SMEs can also take advantage of technology to expand their reach and look into foreign markets. However, that being said international expansion can be a rather tricky beast, with caution and preparation being the most important factors. So, if you are considering expanding take a look at our blog before you start booking those tickets.

1. Technology

Unless you plan on opening up an office abroad or paying for a permanent member of staff you will need to have a fantastic technological infrastructure to ensure you can keep in contact with your contacts (see what we did there.) Thanks to the leaps and bounds seen in technology, this is all too easy with a handful of VoiP and a dash of the Cloud. Do your research and find what works best for you, just make sure you are prepped and primed.

2. Legal

There is little doubt that another country will have different legal parameters from what we have in the UK. Make sure you do your research to gain a full understanding of the legal restrictions and parameters in your new country. It may even be worth investing in a specialised lawyer – remember guys failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Sorry we can’t help it, we used to be girl guides.

3. Research

The most important aspect of marketing is understanding your target market, which is pretty easy on your home turf of England. Growing up, and surrounded by this market place it may not be too challenging. However, another country will have entirely different needs and culture and it is pivotal you understand them before embarking on an international campaign. Take for example that rather enormous chain Wallmart who tried to expand into both South Korea and Germany. Radically different markets, but which both proved impenetrable to this American giant as they simply couldn’t compete on price and had to make a rather embarrassing retreat. The lesson – know your audience.

4. Local Liason

It may well be worth having someone on the ground to help you out. They don’t have to be a permanent member of staff, but rather someone who knows the language, understands the culture and can generally just help make the process that bit much more seamless

5. Networking

Networking offers a unique opportunity to connect with businesses and professionals. However, it doesn’t have to be limited to the United Kingdom. At IWant2Network we have a number of networking groups based abroad in our database, that offer a fantastic way of expanding your reach and connecting with a global audience. Check out our site here for some fantastic listings of groups in Spain, America and Australia to name just a few.