Consider Your Goals
As you consider going global, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is our main reason for going global?
- How long will it take to fully realize our ideal vision of globalization?
- What signs will indicate that we are successful with our globalization efforts?
- What potential challenges might stand in our way? How can we overcome them?
Globalization requires strong goal setting and a willingness to track and adjust to meet those goals.
Once you have an idea about why globalization can help your company, the next step is to research. As a small business, there are most likely other companies that have paved the way in your field or a field similar to yours. Look into their approach and see what they have done that you can obtain knowledge and inspiration from to help improve your globalization efforts.
One of your big concerns should be the legal requirements of globalization. Every country has different laws based on how they handle logistics, imports and exports, and product marketing and distribution. Look for a legal resource that can help you understand the laws on commerce in the place where you want to expand your business.
You also need to research the culture of the countries you are thinking of expanding into. If you already have an idea about which country you want to have a presence in, learn as much as you can about their culture and values before you begin your globalization efforts. If you haven’t made this decision yet, compare and contrast the benefits of expanding into different countries very closely. Making a success of your business’ globalization efforts requires a strong understanding of the country and the culture, and as a small business you have many avenues with which to empower yourself with the knowledge necessary.
As a small business, receiving mentorship can be extremely valuable in many different areas, including globalization. There is a good chance you will be able to find colleagues within your network who have already found success going global; consult with them and see if they have any advice or strategies that you can adopt.
Another great place to go for help is any local organization in your area that supports globalization. Think about your chamber of commerce, networking groups, or organizations that focus on international trade; for example, the Washington International Trade Association helps small businesses in the Washington, D.C. area better understand issues affecting international trade.
Create a Plan
This is an integral element of taking your business global. With a strong plan, you will better understand exactly what is needed for you to go global and what the ideal results should be. Include the details of which services or products you will take global, how you will find prospective customers and partners in the global market, how long the process will take, and who will oversee it.
Globalization comes with some challenges, especially for a small business. However, with the right mindset and perseverance, your small business can go global to improve its outlook and expand in a way that has real impact.