If you are a business owner, you know launching the company was an exciting period in your business’s development. You nurtured it as money flowed in and when times were difficult. Now your business has grown to become a large enough venture that you are ready to move your enterprise into the next phase of existence as you move toward global transactions. How exactly do you move from your local area to a global platform? Here are eight ideas you can use to help build a global business in a global marketplace.
You know what your business has accomplished over the years and how much it has grown, but do you know the weaknesses of your company that could make it falter or fail in the global world? Take an honest audit of your business and discover the strengths and weaknesses associated with each department, the personnel, and your resources. Failure may not even be contingent on something you or your company can provide; it may be based upon an outside source that supplies to you. That is why a full-scale analysis is important.
You need to know where you plan on going before you take even one step moving into the global market. Understand what type of consumer you will market to, what countries to enter, and how your company can fill a void for those local areas. If necessary, do a market segmentation study, a SWOT analysis, and a gap review. Your business model is extremely important because it will define your goals, both long- and short-term, so make sure it is broken into specific areas and attainable goals. Just when you believe you are nearly done, begin again with a cost/benefit analysis and a projected annual budget from the top down.
If you are going to stretch beyond your established borders, you must be sure you have built a company established on a secure foundation on home soil. Make sure you have employees you can trust, insurance with adequate coverage, and a network that can continue to help you expand as you grow even larger. That is what Sjamsul Nursalim strived to do before expanding his tire and retail businesses, and now he is considered to be one of the most successful global business men in Indonesia.
Many owners forget they are responsible for refining brand awareness. Marketing is one of the most valuable tools a business owner can use in his or her arsenal to expand and grow the company, yet for some reason, once the brand is out there and perhaps a logo is attached, company owners forget that it can take on a life of its own. As you market globally, make sure you know what your company name means in foreign languages, if there is any negative, holy, or disrespectful connotation to the name, and do a study about how the name is received. You should never underestimate the power that is in a brand name.
Before you take your company across state lines or a border, hire a CPA. Your accounting department may have been able to keep touch with all the money expenditures before your big move, but different states and countries have very different rules, regulations, and laws defining taxes and bribery. As your financial needs grow, your accountant can keep you on the straight and narrow and out of trouble.
As many business owners have discovered, moving home-soil employees to a foreign country can have a devastating impact on business morale and employee retention rates. Approximately six months before your expansion, begin recruiting managers and executives with international experience or training in the countries you want to expand into. This is especially vital for senior management positions because of the need for the managers to understand the people, the nuances of the culture, and how to maintain authority.
Your company may be founded on intellectual property, or it may just be a part of your vast network of enterprises, but it is still essential to guard your IP when you expand. Just like different areas of the world have different issues with money, they can also have very different rules, laws, and trademark regulations for intellectual property. Protect yourself, your brand, and your company’s integrity by making sure you and your authorized agents are the only ones allowed to use your brand. Make sure you create domain names and register trademarks in the top 20 countries before you begin any expansion.
While it may be impossible to know where your company will be in 10 years and how big your brand will grow, you can set future goals for where you want to market, how you want to sell, and what products you want to launch. Make sure to create small successive goals that are attainable to alleviate employee frustration.
You can make your company a global business by moving it into a global market, all you have to do it think big, dream huge, and take little steps. The rest will become history.