Sunday, August 22, 2021

From Nationwide to Global: Tips for Entrepreneurs Dreaming Big


Entrepreneurs from countries with high economic growth are in a unique position to expand internationally, mostly because most of them are deeply ingrained in global markets. If you're an SME owner who's thinking of going global, you already have your foot in the door. Here are four tips to help you move forward:

Learn International Business Laws and Regulations

Managing a business locally is vastly different from doing so overseas. Apart from differences in cultural customs and trends, you'll also have to learn international business laws. And these are extensive — from labour and employment laws to international trade compliance, finance compliance like the SOX compliance in the US, and even intellectual property rights. You'll need to read up on these regulations to ensure that your business is wholly compliant and avoid legal issues in the future. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of an international business lawyer to serve as your guide and consultant in navigating foreign legalities, which I personally would recommend given that you have the budget for it. 

Use the Right Digital Tools

You should also take note of the tools that you can use to improve your performance in international markets. A more advanced digital tool is blockchain technology. It's a decentralised and distributed public ledger that is used to record unalterable transactions. Using this technology, entrepreneurs can create an accurate and fully public record of the business's transactions, be it with their suppliers or clients. One way to take advantage of the blockchain is to use it to prove the sustainability of supply chain transactions. This assures potential clients that they're buying from an ethical source. Using technology that promotes ethical business values is now more important than ever, especially since the European Commission's SME Strategy highlights the need for a sustainable and digital Europe.

Create a Country-specific Marketing Strategy

When selling your products and services overseas, you need to be aware of local marketing trends. In this regard, you need to think glocally. According to Supply Chain Digital Magazine, glocalisation entails businesses operating on a global scale, while paying attention to local markets. This shift was spurred on by the fact that disregarding local market trends has proven detrimental to business. Moreover, it allows for the purchase of raw materials from local suppliers, which is not only cost-effective, but also more sustainable in the long run.

If you want your global business to succeed, don't neglect the local context. These differ from country to country and are even more nuanced depending on cities and neighbourhoods. So, to reach your target market, invest in a thorough marketing strategy that will engage them.

Take the Time to Learn their Language

Being a fluent English speaker aids in business transactions and negotiations with potential partners. However, it's also very much worth learning the local language. I've seen plenty of movies about business transactions with Japanese people and so the Americans do their best to learn even the basic Japanese language and Japanese culture to show respect and sincerity.  Language barriers are one of the biggest challenges of expanding internationally. Though English is the primary language for business, that doesn't necessarily mean your target market will respond well to it. Make an effort to learn the basic phrases of the country you're doing business in, and hire translators or even locals who can aid in effective communication.

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