Taking your business international opens up a huge number of markets, but also invites some risks. According to Shahram Shirkhani, your small business can have greater success if you adapt to the global marketplace. Even if your local markets fail, your business can prosper in the international market.
Advantages of International Business
You can offer a wider range of products globally than you may be able to offer locally. Even if one or more of your products fail to sell well locally, you can look for new markets where it is in demand. When you are open globally, you won’t need to dump unsold inventory for a loss.
There is less competition in the global marketplace than at home. You’ll have a chance to capture a larger market share. You may also have an advantage if your product is of a much higher quality that the local version. Even if the local competition has access to a superior product, they may have been selling a cheaper, inferior product.
There are different trends and events all over the world. When you market to several countries, you are not vulnerable to any one trend or event. For example, your product may not we welcome in one country but in high demand in another. Also, if there is a huge natural disaster in one place, it won’t totally disrupt your business because you have sales efforts in other places.
You’ll need to learn new methods if you plan to do business in other cultures. There are professional international lawyers who can pave the way for you and help you adjust and adapt.
Risks of International Business
The first thing you need to do is have a clear understanding of what international business involves. This is where professional help is essential. The laws of other countries are different, and you need to know your new legal frameworks. This is extremely important, because it can cost you a lot of time and money if you make a mistake at the beginning.
You’ll need to visit any country where you plan to do business and possibly live there for a few months. Emails are easily misunderstood, so it will be to your advantage to work with your business partners face to face. It will be invaluable to learn how your partner works and thinks and develop a personal rapport. Spending time with partners will also help you select the people with whom you want to work and avoid any dodgy people.
International business involves currency exchange. This will always be a risk, but with the proper attention and advice, you’ll be able to weather any great fluctuations in currency exchange.
Balance the Risk and Advantage
You can have greater control over your international endeavor if you consider the following:
- Use an agent and distributor in the country of choice to sell and distribute
- Manufacture in the country through a foreign subsidiary or your own business
- License to a local producer
- Enter into a joint venture in the country of choice
- Have a franchisee in the country of choice
International business offers great profits along with greater risk. However, if you approach it sensibly, and clearly think through the process, you can maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.