At one point or another, the majority of business owners are tempted to expand their businesses internationally. Very few business owners actually take this leap and set up shop abroad, but it is something that, at one point or another, most business owners will consider doing. To be able to set up a successful business abroad, there is a lot that needs to be taken into account – it isn’t necessarily an easy process, as there is a lot that could potentially go wrong. However, if you are smart about things, you can reduce the risk of anything going badly wrong. Below is a guide to all of the most common things that can go wrong when setting up a business abroad, as well as hacks for avoiding making these mistakes. Take note, and you can give your international business every chance of success.
Failing to choose a suitable location
If you are going to set up a business abroad, it is vital that you take the time to choose a suitable location for said business. Whether it’s a new startup or a cut off of a business that you currently run, it is vital that you are smart about the location that you choose to run the business from. You want to pick a destination that is ideal for your business type; to increase its chances of success. For example, if it is a retail business, you want to ensure that it’s located in a destination that gets a lot of foot traffic, as often consumers enter stores simply by chance when they see something about the store that they like. If it’s an office that you are opening, then it’s worth determining where all of the most reputable businesses operate from in the area that you have chosen to start up in. What you want to do is find a property that is the perfect fit for your business’s needs and is located in the right location – it’s not always an easy task, but it is doable. You also need to have a solid understanding of buying property in the country that you are planning on starting up in, including how a sales and purchase agreement would work. Property purchasing is complex, and changes from country to country, which is why having a good understanding of it is so important.
Not putting a business plan in place
Regardless of whether it’s a new business that you are launching or another division of a business that you already run, it is vital that you have a business plan to refer to. A business plan is a crucial tool for any business, because it’s this document that outlines a company’s goals and targets, and gives you and your team members something to work towards. If you want a business that fails, don’t create a business plan or utilize it. If you want a business that succeeds, take some time to put together a sound business plan. It’s important to bear in mind that the demographic in each country will differ, so it’s vital to take the time to undertake market research for the exact area that you plan on launching your business in. A business plan is what guides a business, which is why it’s so vital that you have one for your new business, whether it’s a brand new startup or a cut off of an existing company that you run, a business plan is still vital.
Skimping on talented workers
There is no guaranteeing that any business will be a success, but what you can do is put a strong team in place to give your business the best chance of success. The fact is that by skimping on talented workers, you are setting your company up for failure. A business is nothing without a skilled team in place, which is why it is so vital to ensure that you have a good team in place – a team that is capable of effectively running your business while you are away. Many business owners make the mistake of choosing to take on workers who are willing to work for less because they have less experience. Don’t make this mistake, or you will end up regretting it. Regardless of whether your budget is tight, your workforce isn’t a place to cut costs – to give your business a good chance of success, a skilled and experienced work force is a must.
Not allowing your team to make decisions
Are you planning on managing your overseas business from home? If the answer is yes, then you need to name a decision maker for your overseas business. If your team have to discuss every decision with you before making it, your company will suffer as a result. There are many times in business when a quick decision needs to be made, which is why it’s in your best interest to name a delegator – someone who you trust to make good business decisions in your absence. By choosing someone local to do this, you can ensure that they understand your customers’ needs as well as possible – after all, someone who lives locally is bound to have a better understanding of the demographic and what your customers want.
Failing to visit regularly enough
Despite the fact that you have put someone at the helm of your business – a delegator to run your business in your absence – that does not mean that you don’t need to visit on a regular basis. By not visiting on a regular basis, you run the risk of things going wrong with your company and you not realizing until it is too late to fix these issues. That is why it is so important to schedule regular visits to your business that is being run overseas – ideally, you want to visit at least once a month, to begin with, to ensure that everything is going swimmingly. Ensure that whenever you visit your team that you don’t criticize what they are doing, instead find small ways to compliment them, showing them that you value their hard work. If there is anything that you are not happy with, talk it through with the management team in a constructive way.
Not being able to speak the language
The truth of the matter is this: if you start a business in a country where you cannot speak the language, you will struggle to make a success of it. That is why it is so important to ensure that if you are going to launch a business, you do so in a country where you can speak the language, or are willing to learn to speak it if you aren’t already able to. You can’t effectively communicate with your team or other local business owners if you don’t speak the language fluently, which is why it’s vital that you launch your business somewhere that you speak the language, or you learn how to.
There you have it, your guide to setting up a business abroad and everything that could possibly go wrong when doing so. The fact is that success is not going to come easily – in business it never does – but by understanding what the most likely things that could go wrong are, you can make them less likely to cause problems. Take note of the tips and advice above, and you can reduce the risk of anything going wrong with your new venture, giving it every chance of success. The road may be bumpy at times, but if you take the advice above on board, you can ensure that no matter what, your business continues to function.