When a business starts to expand from an entirely domestic operation to international locations, there are often problems that can pop up that can slow successful growth. Some of these issues are minor but others can be big enough to stop growth in its tracks if not monitored closely. Below are two of the most typical problems that are easily avoided with a little hard work and foresight.
One of the most effective ways to grow your international business is to understand the cultural norms in your new location. Do people expect to be greeted in a certain way? Do some word combinations mean something derogatory or offensive? Try to partner with locals that can be your guide as you navigate their social customs and set up your new branch. Research your new country well in advance of business expansion so you can be familiar with any potential obstacles or opportunities for growth and be prepared to change the way you do business to attract and keep customers in this new culture.
Trouble in Translation
Another pitfall that is important to be aware of is the language barrier since misunderstandings can quickly become problematic. To avoid such problems, hire employees that are fluent in both languages so that you can ensure a clear exchange of ideas; if necessary, you should also hire a translator to accompany you on business trips so that you don’t miss anything. If you’re setting up shop in a country that uses a foreign language, it is critical to have effective translation so that you can clearly communicate your business ideas, manage your employees and interact with customers.
If you approach overseas business expansion with patience, understanding and humility, you will be in a beneficial position to grow your business and increase your customer base all over the world.