Growing An International Business

So your business has grown to the point where your client base is strong and people around the country know your reputation as a sharp company. 

Pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Now think about how much more you could make if you grew your business overseas.

Going across the border to Canada or Mexico, or across the oceans to other countries, is a sure-fire way to attract new customers and clientele to your business. However, it can also provide unwanted pitfalls or unforeseen problems that may make your life a little complicated until they are settled.

Remember the red tape you had when you created your business in the United States? Now imagine that red tape, maybe multiplied by 10. Creating a business and getting things started in an unfamiliar country can create headaches, especially when you are walking on eggshells as it is.

A recent article in Business Insider cited examples of expanding internationally to business in China, and a lot of the examples work well when inserted into other countries.

Think about it. You probably have brushed up on your foreign-language skills, or at the least hired an interpreter, but one slip-up of the tongue could translate “It is a pleasure doing business with you” into something far worse, possibly something insensitive. Communication skills are vital when it comes to cutting through that red tape and finding success at your new business.

The culture may require you to spend more time together than you really are used to doing here in the United States. Here, you may close a business deal over dinner at a restaurant, 18 holes of golf or a simple face-to-face office meeting. In other countries, you might have to attend someone’s ballet recital, have dinner with the family, etc.

You don’t have to be experienced to have the skills to grow your business elsewhere. A fine example of someone that took their skills to the next level is Ehsan Bayat of Telephone Systems International. After spending his childhood and teenage years in his native Afghanistan, he overcame American language and cultural barriers to get an engineering degree. He then founded wireless companies in Afghanistan and built a charitable foundation that reached out across the borders to other countries.

The thought of growing a business like that may give you sweaty palms. You may think this is growing your business in the states all over again. Still, you have to stick with it.

If you do it the right way, you will have more than one place where business is booming. That will open more opportunities for the future and help your business grow around the world.

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