For most entrepreneurs, building a local customer base is just the first step on their road to success. Once they’ve achieved this goal, they are ready to take their businesses to the next level and expand into international markets.
But, growing beyond your shores doesn’t come without challenges. Not only will you face language and cultural barriers, but your entire business model might go through serious changes. Needless to say, you will need the right team on your side to build a successful business abroad.
With that, here are the factors you need to keep in mind to get human resources right when expanding to international markets.
1. Research the Market
If you plan to expand your business across borders, then the first thing you must do is research the market. Make sure that there is a demand for the products/services you are selling. Research the competition as well, and try to figure out what it is that you bring differently to the table.
But, most importantly, ensure that you won’t have difficulties finding a specialized workforce. After all, it doesn’t matter how great your product/service is if you don’t have a trusted team working to establish and grow your business abroad in the new market.
2. Look for a Local Human Resource Agency
As mentioned already, your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Although you can start and grow a company as a one-person show, at some point you will need to build a team of people you can rely on and trust. Simply put, you can’t expand to international markets on your own.
A great option would be to work with a local human resources company. They can help you find the best bilingual employees for your business’ profile. That way, you can ensure that there will be no language barriers between your relocated teams and your new audience.
Even if you know the language, you might still have problems understanding the dialect or jargon. Bilingual employees can ensure that you don’t make any grave errors when communicating with your new audience.
3. Consider the Difficulties
Expanding to international markets isn’t as simple as picking a country and moving your operations there. You need to ensure that you have the financial resources to withstand such a big move. You also need to make sure that there is a real demand for what you’re selling.
At the same time, you should also think about your family and how this decision will affect them. Being an expat can be extremely difficult. Firstly, it will take some time until you feel like you belong. Secondly, it might be hard to get accustomed to a new culture, especially when you want to open a business.
4. Don’t Forget About the Legal Aspect
Research the laws of the country where you plan to move. Meet up with a business attorney and try to understand the legal environment in which your business will operate. Get familiar with human resources laws and regulations as well as with the work culture of the country. In Latin America, for example, being late for work isn’t frowned upon as it is in the U.S. That’s because in that part of the world, relationships come first and business comes second.
5. Don’t Forget That Taxes May Differ
A human resource agency can tell you what the minimum wage is and what the mandatory work conditions you’ll have to meet are. They can also help you get familiar with legal notices, forms, and everything in between.
Health insurance for your employees is another thing you’ll have to consider, together with payroll and accounting. Also, talk with your attorney about taxes and legislation.
Expanding your business abroad to new markets is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. With a well-thought plan, the right people on your side, and a positive mindset, you can take your company to the next level of success.
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