If your business isn’t growing locally, it might be time to consider international regions. In 2007, US-based businesses sold over $1.1 trillion in goods to overseas customers. Today, that figure has nearly tripled due to the availability of e-commerce tools and low entry requirements set by fast-moving countries, such as United Arab Emirates, India and Brazil.
The Potential of Going International
Fresh sales statistics from eBay suggests that international customers are willing to pay 16 percent more than U.S. buyers for the same good. This is great news for businesses that are struggling to make ends meet in their home turf. Maybe there isn’t a significant need for your services in your local area, or the competition is so stiff that you can’t keep up with well established, large brands. Regardless of your reason for wanting to expand abroad, it is always worth looking into other locations that may receive your offerings more openly.
Considering international markets would allow you to add more value to your products or services just by selling outside of the country. These days, you don’t actually have to have a physical presence in a foreign region to sell your goods successfully. Many companies first setup a virtual store online before establishing a more permanent presence in their target region. Some businesses stick with digital platforms and focus on popular online marketplaces, such as Alibaba, Amazon and Etsy.
According to Intuit, a leading digital accounting services firm, below are essential fundamentals you should consider when taking your business to international markets:
- Analyze your current sales, and see if your product is already selling well in a particular foreign market
- Examine cultural and language differences that might present a barrier or boon to your product’s success
- Understand any economic or political policies or regulations in the countries you’re most interested in
- Examine any tariffs on your products or other trade barriers
With emphasis on the second point, cultural and language differences are usually the major roadblocks that companies encounter when expanding to other countries. This is because firsthand, native experience in the target region is necessary when formulating a low risk, actionable entry strategy. Most businesses send out a team of representatives to immerse themselves in the local culture; but with trips lasting only a few weeks or months, it usually isn’t enough to get a complete assessment of the area. A viable solution to this issue is localization and a professional translation service. Below covers how the two can help solidify your business presence in an unfamiliar country.
Localization Via a Professional Translation Service
A core component of catering to foreign regions is localization, or “the process of making something local in character or restricting it to a particular place.” In order for your product or service to be received well, you may require a professional translation service. The process involves customizing your labels, packaging and social media plans to meet the expectations of your new target market. Such robust services can also be applied in other parts of your expansion strategy, from the professional translation of contracts and financial documents to press releases and data sheets.
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