Boss Lady

How to take your small business global


In the UK alone, there are 5.9million businesses, with 99% of them falling under the banner of small to medium enterprises, or SMEs for short.

If you’ve gotten through the dreaded first year of business (actually, 80% of new businesses are still going strong 12 months on!) or you have hit a ceiling, it may be time to start thinking further afield – maybe even across the planet.

Going global comes with all the pitfalls that you would expect, and managing the transition isn’t easy, so here are some top tips to take your products and services and put them in front of the world’s eyes.

Commit to it

The process of expansion is almost like starting your business all over again. You’ll need to convince potential investors and customers of your worth, just like you did back at the start.

To that end, give the process the respect it deserves. Draft a brand-new business plan, go cap in hand to those that can help, and don’t be afraid to take a few knockbacks, despite having grown familiar to success!

Ask the right questions

You don’t want to target a fresh place to trade, only to discover that it’s not ready for what your selling.

Does the infrastructure in your new area match what has aided your success at home? Is there a need for what you’re selling in your target market? Are your new customers able to spend as much as your current ones, or are they capable of spending more, even?

You may have entirely new legal structures, cultural norms and even languages to learn, so if you don’t know, get to know.

Don’t dive straight in at the deep end

Of course, you want to conquer the world, but you don’t have to do it all overnight.

Once you’ve researched the best places to focus on, try them one at a time and build that global portfolio one market at a time.

Similarly, you may well find that you have to live in a new country if you are going cross-border. Can you speak the language? Are you familiar with the customs in your new residence?

If you’re an English-speaker and language is crucial to your company, stick to markets where you know you can communicate efficiently with new people.

Lay the foundations

Have you got the resources and capital to repeat your business success overseas? Converting currencies and dealing with unexpected costs associated with starting up in new countries can all put your company as a whole at risk.

If you are on the edge of raising the capital to truly break through globally, small business loans can be perfect to give you the final nudge towards the development you desire.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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