No matter where your company is physically located, you can expand into other regions or countries with the click of a button.
Now that marketing tools have made international advertising campaigns so much easier, it’s tempting to dive right in. But before you do, stop and think about how you can best serve your new customers.
In this video, we’ll look at technical capabilities, managing your supply chain, and what local rules or regulations you may need to follow.
Addressing these details will help reduce risks and identify potential issues before you’re too far down the line.
First, you might want to check how your website performs in the countries where you want to sell products. Some regions may have slower Internet connection speeds—make sure your web pages can load and your site works well in places where you want to sell.
Next, look at your supply chain and make sure you’re able to deliver your products to all the far corners where you want to sell them.
Don’t forget to review all taxes and laws affecting businesses in these markets. Local government agencies can sometimes provide this information and may offer consulting services to help you figure out what you need to know about the market you plan to export to. Remember, you want all your customers to be able to reach you, no matter where they are. An easy way to start is to provide customer support via email and contact forms on your website.
At some point you should probably establish a way to communicate beyond just your website, like through a telephone line. If you use a toll-free number or freephone number, make sure it’s properly formatted so that customers in other countries can easily call you. Now, think about how a customer would interact with your business, starting from discovering your products and services all the way to placing an order. Do you need to make any adjustments to your processes to keep things running smoothly?
Reviewing your business processes—especially supply chain management—will play an important part in your success. Say you own a vintage record shop in the UK. You heard that the vintage vinyl scene in Lisbon is booming. So you want to start selling your records in Portugal to get in on the trend. Managing your supply chain might include sourcing local suppliers, factoring in shipping supplies, and determining the most efficient way of getting the product to the customer in Lisbon.
Let’s imagine you’ve just received an order for 2,000 vinyl records that have to be delivered in two weeks, but you don’t have the full quantity in your local inventory.
Given the rapid turnaround time, receiving the remainder of the order, repackaging the products, and shipping to the customer in less than two weeks sounds like a risky proposition, so in this case, you might decide you need to source from a local supplier. As you look to expand your business into global markets, you’ll also need to explore local laws and regulations for doing business in each target area. Beyond any cultural barriers, these legal hurdles can pose challenges to expanding into a certain region or country.
Look at the tax requirements and import or export restrictions for your products and services. Some countries have agreements that may impact tax collection, and additional customs or tariffs could affect your bottom line. The way your business is incorporated may also make a difference in your ability to operate across borders. Some countries may require that you register with proper authorities in order to sell there. To recap: Make your business is accessible to new customers. Examine your supply chain processes and how they’ll work across borders. Research legal and governmental regulations that affect doing business.
Expanding your markets into new regions and countries may seem like a lot of work, but taking these steps will ensure you’re properly set up for success.
Expanding into new markets is exciting – but it isn't just about marketing. You need the right technical infrastructure, a strong supply chain and compliance with laws and regulations. In this video we’ll cover:
- making your business accessible to new customers
- managing the supply chain
- possible legal and regulatory implications.