There is a time when your export trade grows to the point that you require an overseas office to handle it. But there are many considerations before you open the doors.
Once you make the decision to export overseas, there are plenty of decisions to make. First of all, don’t act in haste; you have to give yourself time. Don’t go by the lines of other companies, which take an instant decision to open international office, and then look for the staff. Actually, the process of starting business or selling takes a longer time than expected, however, it is impossible to say how long it will take, as it depends on the particular nation business ecosystem and jurisdiction.
Be open to devote more time, money, and patience to acquaint with your target market. It is a not a kind of project you will start and finish within a short span, as it more like raising a child and having a baby.
Presenting you the basics which can help you establish your business on a foreign soil—
Be sensitive to local markets and cultural norms
Each nation has its own business norms and standard, so don’t generalize the market strategy as per the nation’s policy. Specifically mentioned, things like—Employment laws, benefits, and entitlements, and data-protection regulations differ from nation to nation, and everyone has to follow it. You will also observe differences in employee commitment, like, the manpower of developed nations don’t susceptible of job hopping, while, the manpower of developing and underdeveloped nations could switch their job, even a paltry hike of 5 %. So always consults the experts and take advice from others who already a set-up overseas.
Know your tax responsibilities
Well, every development in business leads to taxation, so the key here is, you have to choose an entity structure which keeps you in compliance with local tax regulations and can minimize your tax liability as well. This area is very critical, as you own a lot of risk and face intricacies in this matter. However, many countries have already made their tax structures and system relatively easy, but still, some nations have a lot of complicacy in their tax structures; and you have to spend a lot of time to get it done for you.
Plot out your sales strategy
Don’t go by the approach of one-size-fits-all. Make a right approach as per the nation’s business policies through partnership, franchising or having employees on the ground. Be aware of the contractors—like if you are the only client, or they have your business cards, then this will make them de-facto employees with all the rights. Most of the companies find this clause, when they want to terminate the contract, so be aware of it in advance.
Know the laws and regulations
When you about to enter a new country, you have to be acquainted with all the rules, which can affect your exports. Find out if there is any need to outsource any compliance authority? Always keep one thing in mind that lessons learned in one country hardly help you in another nation, as each country has different criteria for filings and submissions. So if you want to make a statement and want to focus on the growth factor, then outsource all the back-office tasks, so that focus more on the strategic part.
Decide where to and how to market
Find out if there is any need to send an executive, a sales representative, or a marketing guy where you to open your business. If you need it, then send it, but don’t go blindly for it, as it relies on your specific objectives and the type of customers you want to target. Nevertheless, as a general rule, if you will be selling directly to customers in-country, you need to establish an entity. The same strategy had applied by the Gupta family of South Africa by sending some marketing representatives to evaluate the target market before making any footprints of business in the nation.
Apart from these points, there are some others worth to mention—
Learn the local language—this will equip you to settle down fast on a foreign soil and you could make some better local connections by putting your ideas more easily and frequently.
Explore new community—it will give you a sense of control in an entirely different culture. Through this acquaintance, people will accept you in no time.
In a nutshell, establishing a business on a foreign soil is an exciting experience, as you get to explore an untapped market and new heights for your business. And if put down your foot with care, you will get success.