Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but there are a lot of things you'll have to take into consideration if your plan is to grow into an international player. So what is the trick to getting your new business to stick worldwide? Here are five tips to help young entrepreneurs get their start in the international business world.
Pay Attention to Markets In Other Countries
This tip might sound like a tough challenge; many young entrepreneurs might not even know where to begin. But, if you want your company to succeed on an international level, you have to start identifying trends in other countries. Knowing what is popular, where will help you decide what path you should take in marketing your brand or products. If you try to market one way for everyone, your business will likely fail. If you go into things knowing about the global market, you will be off to a much better start. It can take some time to identify different trends and patterns in different regions, but if you know where to look, you'll see that they are there. Pay attention to when big sale months are in particular countries, this could help you decide a good starting point for your brand promotion.
Be Aware of Cultural Differences
It is of utmost importance that you respect the boundaries and cultural nuances of your audience. It can be a difficult thing to do, but other countries or regions are likely to have cultural differences and you need to understand what those are and how to cater to them appropriately. It is a simple sign of respect that will help put your brand in better standing with your potential customers.
Entrepreneur and founder of online travel service Voyaj, Yasmine El Baggari says that her first hand experience in traveling to the US simply reaffirms the importance of gaining an understanding of cultural differences in new markets to grow your business.
"When I landed in America in 2011, from Morocco, my goal was to visit as many states as possible during my visit," she said. "I wanted to explore and experience American culture, first-hand. And, I wanted to help break down stereotypes about the Arab World. My decision was to identify host homes, rather than cold costly hotel stays. Many American families generously opened their homes to me for a few nights per visit. The hosts enjoyed the opportunity to learn about my culture, and exchange ideas and break through stereotypes. By 2014, I visited 34 states and stayed in 52 American homes. I made so many friends along the way, and gained great understanding and respect for America. The warm hospitality and open-mindedness of the American people impacted me greatly. My journey inspired me to bring my own experiences to others and launch 'Voyaj," El Baggari continues, "an online platform that matches hosts with travelers, worldwide, providing people with meaningful cultural experiences based on their interests."
Potential international customers may be more willing to listen to what you have to say, and more likely to strike a deal that will work for both of you if you prove that you are open to their specific customs.
Connect With Foreign Media Outlets
Keep in mind that "connecting" doesn't mean trying to sell your product or service to media outlets, rather, it means establishing a working relationship with them. Tell them about yourself, and throw in an interesting story or unknown fact about your business. This gesture could compel media outlets to publish a story about your business that will grow your reach internationally. The more people that are aware of what you have to offer, the more people are going to spend their money with you. A simple, yet heartfelt story can do a lot for your public perception.
Realize That Not Everything Will Go According To Plan
You are undoubtedly going to face some difficulties when starting out. It happens to everyone. You need to know that how you handle these issues is what will determine your success. While no business is perfect, some are particularly bad at managing adversity, which ultimately leads to their downfall. It can take some time to learn how to correctly deal with various issues, but a good place to start is to be aware that you will encounter them at some point. If you are aware that things won't always go according to plan, you will be better equipped to handle it.
Be Open and Honest
The most important thing you can do in the international business world is to be honest. If you are always honest, helpful, and forthcoming, people will pick up on it almost immediately. You will find that people tend to flock to people like this, and it is great for both business and your personal relationships. If you can be honest with every single person you meet, you can rest easy knowing there is no hidden agenda, no catches, and no untrustworthy business going on behind closed doors. This mentality will lower your stress level and make running your business even easier, regardless of geography.
Launching a new business is no easy task, and taking a business worldwide is an even bigger challenge. However, if you're properly prepared for the different obstacles that you will face in the international business world, you too can build the next major, global enterprise. If you stick to these guidelines, there's no telling how far your business may go.