Taking a local business onto the international stage may seem daunting but if you have the right business model and the will, the technology is there to help you make it happen. New technology means that more local businesses are making the move into overseas markets and, as a result, their enterprises are growing exponentially. Here are a few of the tools and apps out there that can help even the smallest business succeed globally.
Before expanding into any market, it’s important to do your research. It might seem obvious, but here, Google is your friend, or to be more specific, Google Analytics, Google Trends and Google Market Finder.
Google Analytics is incredibly useful when it comes to tracking where your visitors are coming from. If you see a high proportion of visitors from a specific region, then this could give you more than a few clues for your next sales destination. Likewise, Google Trends is handy for discovering locations where there might be demand for your product or service.
With Google Market Finder, you can translate keywords and phrases for your business across a number of languages. This can offer valuable insights when putting together a financial plan for overseas expansion.
Connect to new markets
As a business owner, you’re already aware of the importance of having local expertise in your local marketplace. This is just as important when you’re looking at overseas markets. Social networking platforms such as LinkedIn give you the opportunity to reach out in the markets that interest you and get introduced to people who may be able to help you in your efforts. Who knows? You might even find your next star employee to help you break into that new market.
Update your systems
Operating in foreign markets can be very different than your existing domestic market. It’s important to understand the legal considerations of exporting, importing or working with an overseas partner. Market Access Map is a tool that can give you insights into international trade by increasing the transparency of market access conditions worldwide.
Along the way, you’ll probably discover that the same accounting and tax regimes probably won’t apply, so it’s important that you update your existing financial software to be compatible for your new markets.
Choose the right platforms
When you’re selling into overseas markets, there isn’t just language differences to deal with, there are cultural differences to deal with too. Like at home, customer service will be vital to the success of your overseas operations, so choose a CRM platform that updates across global boundaries.
The same will apply to your website or e-commerce platform you use. One that meets the needs of the local market may not be fit for purpose when it comes to overseas markets, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s best for your business model and can adapt to cater to new foreign marketplaces.
If you can’t afford to translate your website into a number of different languages, then it might be best to keep it in an international language such as English, adapting the copy to make it as short and as simple as possible. As you see which markets you do best in, you can consider creating a standalone website later on, designed especially for that market.
You’ll also discover that customers in various countries prefer to pay in different ways, so it’s important to give your customers as many payment options as possible in order to maximise your sales.
A KoalaPays account can help with this as it’s compatible with a full range of payment methods. Furthermore, since you can accept payments and hold individual currencies in separate sub-accounts, you aren’t subject to charges for every payment you receive from a business partner. And, when you do want to convert to another currency, you won’t be charged excessive fees or have to deal with poor exchange rates.
That’s just one of the ways KoalaPays demonstrates that we’re on your side when it comes to helping you do business overseas.