There are plenty of good reasons to go global and take your business to the next level. Perhaps you have already saturated the local market. Perhaps You want to move your operations closer to where your products are manufactured. Perhaps you just want a new challenge. Whatever your reasoning may be, your new venture abroad awaits.
There will be a few challenges along the way. No one said this would be easy. Taking a manufacturing business global is something to be considered carefully, ideally, with your legal team You also need to immerse yourself in the culture where you are going. It is not enough to rely on your business savvy for navigating the unexpected. Culture trumps almost everything. You can know the law. But if you don’t know the culture, you will still fail.
You have to enter the global market with a great deal of humility. Don’t barrel in assuming that everyone is just like you. Religious and social mores differ from place to place. You don’t have to be doing anything illegal to be doing something very wrong.
There are a few basic tools that can help you stay on course that include the following:
Bad things happen to good people all over the world. If you forget that you are supposed to be driving on the other side of the road, even for a moment, it could be a life and death situation. Be sure to get the kind of life insurance no medical examination can keep you from having. Some insurance companies will find any excuse not to pay a claim. They will suggest that your problem is from a previous injury or preexisting condition. Even a tenuous link to a past event is enough to get coverage denied. But regardless of preexisting conditions, everyone needs life insurance.
This is especially true when working abroad. Your diet is not accustomed to the local cuisine. The locals might be used to the water. But if you forget to boil it, you could be in for a world of hurt, or worse. Because you don’t know the local area, you might mistake yourself for being in a safe area at a safe time of the day. This could be a fatal miscalculation. Dangerous road or construction conditions might not be as clearly marked as you are used to in other places. Be smart. Be careful. And above all, be insured.
A Local Partner
Don’t try to go it alone. When you carefully weigh the pros and cons of having a business partner, you will find that the pros have it when it comes to going international. It is more feasible to go it alone when you are on familiar turf. But when you are a stranger in a strange land, you need as many powerful and trusted friends as you can get.
You don’t have to rely on your networking and business connections. In a new place, you don’t have any. But others do. You can get instant credibility by having a local partner that the people trust. That partner can get you into doors that would never open for you without them. A local partner can make the regulatory process smooth sailing. On top of all that, many countries require that you do most of your work in the country, or otherwise have significant ties. Such requirements are not a problem when you partner with a local company that already meets these requirements.
A Local Guide
At the risk of repeating myself, don’t go it alone. A smartphone app that provides translation and mapping services is not the same as a local guide who speaks the language and knows the area. You should be in the process of learning the language, the area, and the culture. But that takes time. You don’t have to have all of that figured out before you get started. But in the interim, you need a human guide. Like a business partner, they can make your transition smoother and keep you from making huge errors that would otherwise set you back.
In business, there are few things more exciting than going international. Just be sure to bring along life insurance, a local business partner, and a local guide.