Companies around the world have increased their comfort level and ability to participate in international trade. Thanks to significant improvements in communication technology, infrastructure, and more numerous and adept service providers to support companies engaging in global business, the opportunity for U.S. companies to expand beyond our borders has never been better.
If you are considering taking your business global, the infographic below, Are You Ready for International Business Expansion? is a superb reference. It presents a concise overview of how to get started and the pitfalls to look out for when marketing products and services in other countries and cultures. The infographic is sufficiently broad to help businesses pursuing anything from straight exporting to local-market manufacturing, and yet it zeroes in on all the key issues to consider.
Preparation and planning make all the difference in any new enterprise, but for international business expansion, danger lurks in unexpected places. For instance, even sophisticated, Fortune 100 companies have gotten tripped up by using product names that appeal to U.S. customers — but repel customers in the foreign markets they were aiming at.* Language and cultural differences from one country to another, or even one region within a country to another, can create unintended consequences for every aspect of your sales, branding, marketing, operations and financial management.
Despite the challenges, companies can get plenty of help to overcome the hurdles and create new revenue streams from customers in faraway places. On the customer service side, companies have overcome language barriers by partnering with customer support organizations with multilingual skills — much more cost-effective and far faster than trying to build a multilingual internal team from scratch. Along similar lines, U.S. companies wishing to export can work with any number of experienced export firms with the knowledge to navigate the confusing and complex issues of local trade regulations.
Given the complexity of global operations, along with the increased costs and risks, it’s natural to ask, is going global worth it? Many organizations have correctly concluded that it is. Establishing positions in foreign markets enables companies to establish new and potentially vast revenue streams. It allows a company to shift focus from slowing markets to growing markets and maintain dynamic growth, rather than being anchored to the fate of a single national market. It enlarges the company’s talent pool, facilitates new product development, and establishes a competitive advantage over companies doing business locally or nationally. To learn more about what it takes to go global, continue reading below.
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Author Bio: Anita Lee is Marketing and Sales Director for Callnovo, an outsourced contact center service provider specializing in customer services and technical support. She has five years of experience in the industry, and focuses on e-commerce customer service and call center operation.
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