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The ABCs Of Launching a Business Abroad

Launching a business anywhere has its challenges, however, trying to launch a company in a foreign country can be even more difficult. Nevertheless, each month thousands of new businesses are launched and the potential for these to make a profit abroad is incalculable. 

Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

Setting up a business in a foreign country is generally much easier today than it was 20 years ago. Thanks to the Internet, you can do much of the groundwork before even setting foot in your country of choice. If you are eager to take a leap of faith and delve into a foreign market, here are the ABCs of launching a business abroad. 

Identify the Market 

One of the top mistakes that entrepreneurs make before launching a business abroad is assuming that the target market will be similar to the one at home. Each country has its own culture, values, and customs, all of which have to be accounted for in your business plan. It is never a bad idea to conduct a study about the market that you are looking to establish yourself in. Try to get some on-the-ground experience and talk to locals in the area. This way you can invest your time and money wisely, allowing you to make efficient decisions. 

This goes for both potential clients and potential business relations too. This is a super important aspect to consider as an innocent mistake could make or break a deal. For example, if you were to have a business meeting in China you would be expected to bring some sort of gift. However, it won’t be as easy as simply giving this to them, as it is customary for the Chinese to refuse gifts up to three times before finally accepting them. Not bringing a token of your appreciation is considered to be impolite. Other countries, such as Australia and Russia, value punctuality over everything, so make sure you get to any meetings on time.  

Consider What Life Will Be Like 

If you are going to set up a business abroad and move your entire life along with it, you should first consider what your day-to-day life will be like. This doesn’t just include you; it also includes your family and any employees that you would like to re-locate. You want to make sure you choose a place in which they will feel both secure and happy. 

Some European countries like Denmark or Norway have an excellent grasp of the English language, however, other nations like Mexico or Brazil may not. If you expect to bring over families, make sure to look for cities with international schools and perhaps offer local language lessons to your employees. You should also offer health care, like Cigna International, to employees and their families. 

Create Local Alliances 

There is no better way to get to grips with a foreign market than by creating local alliances with other business owners. In order to run a successful company abroad, you will need to establish a network of suppliers, experts, and advisors who can help you along the way. Not only will this help you get the inside scoop on how things work but it will make settling into a new country much easier. 

Don’t limit yourself to thinking of local partnerships as manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors. Think about partnerships on a ground-level, be it a public relations firm, or maybe even collaborating with local social media influencers. They already boast of an interactive audience and can help you lift your business off the ground. When entering a new market, you should always try to gain the trust of that local audience. Don’t impose yourself onto the market, instead, try to integrate yourself into the community.  

Research the Country’s Political Climate 

This point may seem inherently obvious; however, it should always be noted that in order to run a successful business, the country should have a stable political climate. There is a notable trend in which all of the countries that rank highly for business practices, also share an extremely stable political regime. The same goes for the opposite, all countries with bad business practices and failing economies suffer from unpredictable political systems. With stability you can expect a string of constant economic policies, low levels of corruption, high transparency, stable currencies and non-volatile markets. 

All in all, launching a business abroad is a time-consuming task that should not be taken lightly. Make sure to research all of the above points before deciding where you should launch your company. Thankfully, the Internet has made setting up a company and researching local regulations easier than ever. You no longer need to fly over and settle everything in person, many things can be accomplished online. Get into contact with your local embassy and ask for some guidance as well. Wherever you choose to launch your business, make sure that you do so with passion and determination. 

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