How to Have a Successful International Business

Globalization is the way of modern business. International business growth brings potential for market expansion, an increased customer base, lower costs, and portfolio diversification. Wanting a successful international business and achieving international successful growth are two very different things. Here are some tips that may help you make your international business a success.

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Identifying the Right International Market

A make or break decision for international businesses is where they will locate operations. The geographic location, workforce, infrastructure, attitude of the local government toward business, and fiscal climate must all be considered.

There are certain countries that have a reputation for being business friendly. However, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. The final decision for location is based on criteria that will be unique to your company’s needs.

The local culture is a factor that should be heavily weighed. Effective companies choose to invest in markets where people live a similar lifestyle as were they are from and in locations that have a customer base that is eager to support the product or service being offered.

Tailor Products and Marketing Campaigns for International Audiences

This requires a complicated balance. Businesses that want to have an international brand need to build a consistent brand culture that customers can easily recognize wherever they go in the world. For example, no matter where you are on the planet, when you see the golden arches, you know what business you are entering into. This is because the company behind the logo has a single view of the world and a single philosophy to how they go about doing business.

At the same time, local markets will dictate certain marketing decisions. That is why when you walk into a burger joint in the United States, you will see a list of products that are available. When you visit that same company in another country, you will see familiar items, but there will also be items that reflect local tastes.

The last thing an international business wants to do is compromise their brand culture in response to globalism. The goal has to be to create a single content story that works equally well in different markets.

Developing an International Business Requires Travel

Successful international growth means getting on the ground and solving unanticipated challenges while building relationships with local partners. There are a lot of positive things that can be done via an international conference call. However, there are times when sitting face-to-face with individuals, sharing a meal, and making your presence known has a greater impact.

The idea sounds simple, but face-to-face visits are critical. Overlooking them can open the way for competition who are willing to make the investment and travel to international locations to manage their business.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of International Business

International business promises much. It also comes with its unique set of perils. A business trying to expand internationally too rapidly may be surprised when currency fluctuations destroy their profits.

The first step in avoiding pitfalls is creating a well thought out strategy. It may be easier for small businesses to get their feet wet, so they jump in before they know what they are doing or where they are going. When doing business internationally, it takes a lot more time and energy to get yourself out of the problems a failure to plan caused than it would to have planned well in the first place.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Just because a number of countries are interested in your product or service, this doesn’t mean that you are ready to sell your product everywhere. You need patience and discipline to learn about countries where you will sell your product or your service before jumping in.

It is perilous to assume that because something works in the United States it is going to work everywhere else. Cultural differences dictate the marketplace. This includes things ranging from shipping to packaging to pricing to payment terms.

Many businesses are able to grow by simply working within the US marketplace. However, the international arena can protect you if there is a decline in domestic markets. Building an international business can improve your overall growth and revenue potential.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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