Americans love to travel. In fact, according to the U.S. Travel Association, approximately 683 billion dollars is spent on domestic and international travel per year. Yes, we have a certain affection for going overseas, which is why as an entrepreneur, it would make sense for us to look into taking our businesses abroad as well. However, while this can be a rewarding task, it’s also not the easiest.
While almost any of us would love to be able to hop to another office of ours in another country, it takes years of groundwork and research to get there. Granted, the process can be fun, but also quite time-consuming, which is why it’s crucial you hit every benchmark necessary. Establishing a branch of your business overseas isn’t cheap, so you’ve got to make an effort to cross every “T” and dot every “I” according. Because once you do, it’ll be off to the races. Here’s how:
Examine Your Markets
Whether you’re looking to take your business across the border or across the world, it’s important to conduct the proper research to see if there’s a fit. This includes looking into where the current market lies, what competitors might exist, as well as where you’re going to fit in the bigger picture. Keep in mind, this is going to take quite a bit of time to put together, but doing so will put you in the most advantageous position you could be in.
Given that you’ve most likely got some sort of knowledge on where it might be best to expand, use these points as starters. Whether your assumptions were accurate or not is arbitrary, but instead take this as an exercise to learning more about your business. For example, if you own a company that specifically does branding for energy companies, then your initial assumption might be to check out places like Dubai or Venezuela given that they’re hubs for oil. However, those may already be established to the point that it’s hard to break in, leaving you to go with options that focused on a different aspect of the energy sector.
Once you’ve honed in on a shortlist of places to think about, it’s time to start looking into how you want to make this happen. After all, going abroad can be costly, which is why it’s imperative to get the location right the first time.
Take A Visit
Perhaps one of the most fun parts about your research process is actually going out and exploring the cities you’re considering calling a second home. This will give you a more accurate picture of not only your potential market but the culture and lifestyle there as well. As you’ll be spending quite a bit of time in this place, try to picture how comfortable you’ll feel here, and if it’s something you’d commit to long term.
In exploring these new cities, jot down a few goals or activities you want to do, as well as talk to locals. These will give you excellent insights into how things work on a day-to-day level and can help form a better opinion in terms of your plan of action. Additionally, social media can also be an excellent way to explore, as it will give you a better sense of both what tourist and the people of the specific town or city do. This is supposed to be an enjoyable process, which is probably going to be one of the most significant factors contributing to if you should move there.
Be Mindful of The Logistics
After you’ve established where to move, it’s time to start looking into how you’re going to get it done. As a process where you want to get all your bases right, it’s good to take things slow and really dig out every detail you deem necessary. For example, while you might know how to make money at home, that’s a far cry from being able to run a remote team. Additionally, you’re also going to have to have the proper protocols in place to both be able to handle any incident, such as a ransomware attack. All-in-all, the logistics process might take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to even a couple of years, so be patient in checking off everything.
As taking your business abroad can be an incredibly exciting process, it can also be incredibly difficult. However, by doing your homework, examining the local markets, and even looking at how your firm can be installed here, you too can start expanding. Which begs the question: what’s holding you back from taking your company outside the states? Answer with your comments below.