Expanding your business abroad is an exciting venture that allows you to create jobs and employ more people, serve a wider customer base, and open doors to new partnerships and opportunities for collaboration. It also means taking on the learning curve of familiarizing yourself with local culture and figuring out how to market your business in a completely different market. While some things are tried and true across cultures, it’s important to figure out how your business can grow to meet the culture in a way that’s impactful to them, therefore helping both your business and the people that your business is trying to work with.

Tips for Going International With Your Business

One of the best ways to ensure that your global business expansion will be successful is by hiring local business people who are competent in their field and understand the market of the country you’re expanding to. By doing this, you aren’t only helping the local economy, but you’re doing yourself the favor of bringing people on board who will know how to sell your business within that culture. Having people on your team that understand the vision of your business, while also understanding the culture you’re expanding to, can be instrumental to the success of your business.

When expanding your business, it’s crucial to ensure there’s a way to interface with your customers. Whatever the type of business you’re operating, having a way for customers to contact you to solve a problem, support, and market your product or service to, is a core component of operating a business. The way you go about this may vary by business. You can leverage the international nature of email, work with online chat rooms, or set up a phone number, so that your customers can quickly and easily get any questions answered and utilize your product or service as quickly as possible. Setting up contact methods for customers in a way that’s culturally competent is essential. Use the email host or chatroom that’s most accessible to your target market. Set up a virtual phone number or access number that uses the local area code, so that you’re integrating your business into the local culture. 

Even if you don’t use telephone calls for interacting with customers, you’ll likely need to work with various partners, employees, board members, and other stakeholders that live in the country you’ve expanded to, and therefore setting up a virtual phone number can be very important. A virtual phone number service that has phone numbers in several countries is EasyRinger. It’s based in Washington, but founded by expatriates who lived in China and needed to be able to contact people from abroad. This service will allow you to choose a phone number from the area you’re expanding your business to, but rather than connecting this phone number to a single line, you can connect it to your current cell phone, landline, or work phone.

iLounge author Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.