You started your company as a domestic business, but now you want to expand and take it overseas. You think that there is a big market for your products and services that is not being met, and you want to reach out to more than just an American audience.
If you’re wondering what challenges you’re going to face as you do this, it’s fair to note that every company has its own unique challenges and hurdles that are hard to predict. It depends on the goods and services you offer and how prepared you are.
That said, there are some standard challenges that almost any business will run into, including:
- Not understanding a different culture and what it means for advertising, brand engagement and the like.
- Not speaking the local language and experiencing miscommunication as a result.
- Having a vast physical distance between the company headquarters and the new operations.
- Having to pay export fees, tariffs and other fees that do not apply within the country.
- Not knowing how to market the product effectively, even if there is a demand.
- Picking the wrong country to get started in.
- Not having the workforce on the ground right away and/or struggling to hire the right local workers.
- Having communication issues within the company due to distance, time zones and the like.
- Not having all of the right documents and paperwork to run a business in that country, which has different laws and regulations than the U.S.
An international company can be lucrative, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Make sure you know what steps to take tno protect your company’s reputation, assets and legal interests when starting international trade.