Tips on operating an international business remotely
If you run your own business, then you may well be at the point where future expansion is on the horizon. One area that you may think about in the modern age is operating internationally. The advantages this brings are obvious and plentiful. Not only will it give you a far bigger target audience to engage with, it will also provide the chance to make more profit. It can also help turn your current business into a world-wide, global player.
One thing that you may wonder about is how to go about it without establishing a physical presence in each country in which you operate. After all, you may not have the funds or inclination to have an office in each country. In addition, the nature of your business may not demand it either. For example, if you sell goods purely online, then opening physical stores in foreign countries is unnecessary.
The good news is that the increasingly digital nature of business and society means you can easily operate globally without ever leaving your own country. It also means that you can reach and engage with potential customers anywhere without having to be there. If you need a few tips on operating abroad without being there in person, the below information will help.
Do your research
Before you leap into entering any new market overseas virtually, you need to understand it. After all, if there is no real demand gap for you to exploit, is it really worth it? There must be a need for your product or service before you commit resources to operating there. Even though you will not have a physical presence, it will still cost in terms of time and money. It is also a good idea to see who your main rivals may be in any foreign country by checking out social media, news sites, and making internet searches for the products or services that you supply.
Create a nostro account
A nostro account is used by companies that buy or sell in other countries but do not have a physical presence there. It becomes necessary because a standard checking account arrangement would not be possible in these circumstances. The nostro account is denominated in the currency of the country where you are doing business and can be opened via your local bank. They will in turn set up an account in the relevant country with a bank there. Any funds are then moved around via wire transfer. If you will be operating in a country abroad with a different currency, then they make it much simpler and easier to conduct your affairs.
Make sure your website caters to the right people
To do business globally without being based in other countries, your website is going to be crucial. This will be how people find out more about you, buy your goods and generally find out how to reach you. One thing to factor in is what language is spoken in the countries you operate in around the world. While a standard US site is good for English speakers, it could deter any non-English speakers from doing business with you. To resolve the issue, make sure you have a version of the site in the local language that people in the relevant countries use.
Make use of social media
Next to your website, social media platforms like Twitter will be your biggest asset in doing business globally in a virtual sense. With literally billions of users in every country between them, these platforms can help you reach people internationally and to market your services without leaving your own office. Social media can be especially useful in breaking into new territories when you first enter them by targeting well-known local influencers and marketing your brand.
Localize your content
When choosing to operate internationally via online methods, you must make sure your content is localized for the right market. What works for your current US customers in terms of your blog or website content might not for people who view it. For example, in New Zealand the public will want stories about their country and local issues to read about. Localizing content will also allow you to adapt it and take into account cultural differences that your international customers may have.
Prepare thoroughly before starting an international online business
What the above shows is that while you can easily operate your business internationally without moving out of your own country, there are a few things to think about first. Getting those right will allow you to enter the relevant international market and establish a positive brand presence to make it a success. Over time, this will allow you to build up a truly global network of territories that you sell into or import from.