Expanding your business overseas can be a challenging endeavor with lots of ups and downs. From the brand not being accepted to legal issues, there are many challenges that entrepreneurs face while growing their business abroad.
Knowing the most common challenges and knowing how to overcome them is a must to expand business. Having a business expansion strategy in place is a must to face challenges in your journey. Here is a list of the most common challenges by Thomas Cook that you may face when you decide to expand your business:
Failed Product or Service
Often certain products are not well received in the market. They might be fully relevant or consumers may have trust issues. At the same time, products might not be as standardized as their competitors. To overcome this challenge, there are certain strategies that companies can follow to increase sales and enhance the product’s brand.
- Understanding why the product failed by conducting research in the international country is a must. This is the very first and the very basic step that entrepreneurs must follow. It can help identify the factors which lead to the failure and can help in devising better strategies for the future.
- Changing the marketing strategies is another important strategy to implement. Promoting the product through a new social media channel or sales by identifying a new USP can be beneficial. Understanding which strategy works best as per the culture of the country can prove helpful.
- Hosting events and community services is another helpful technique for redeeming a product or brand in the market. Events are usually very attractive for the customers and community services for the society and environment helps in improving consumers’ trust.
Language and Cultural Barriers
Communicating the products or service’s value to the customer in the best possible way is very essential to business. When looking at international business expansion, companies face challenges in communicating about the product to the local people because of language or cultural barriers. The product might not align with the consumer and the consumers might not understand English. There are some easy steps to overcome this challenge:
- Learning the language and marketing the product in the language understood by the country is a must. In France, natives usually do not speak English unless required and they require all forms of communication to be in French and hence, such factors must be kept in mind
- Hiring local talent can help in gaining cultural perspectives to improve communication and marketing while you expand your business. Hiring local content writers, marketers and salespeople can help grow the business in an international country.
- Developing an inclusive work culture can help incorporate different values from international countries into the organization, making the organization global and friendly toward customers from around the world.
Managing Global Teams
Managing global teams will always be challenging. Different countries have different work cultures and working hours and ensuring a proper synergy between the employees is a big challenge. At times, time differences and differences in perspectives act as barriers in the growth of the business. However, businesses can overcome these challenges as well.
- Having collaborative digital spaces or events for different teams across the world to get to know each and their perspectives can prove fruitful. Using conversation starters and organizing discussions can help people to be comfortable with each other.
- Having an organized system with set timings for meetings, set communication channels and a system for decision making is a good antidote to global human resource management challenges.
- Having a transparent communication system is a necessity
Keeping up with Currency Exchange Rates
As the currency exchange Keep rates on fluctuating, it is important to keep a track of these rates while running a business in different countries. Mistakes in this area may lead to losses and lack of organization. International business expansion strategy should have systems in place for this issue. This challenge can also be addressed by:
- Having a finance head for each country and having a synergy between all finance heads is an essential element to ensure there are no mistakes.
- Having a regular and consistent routine to check currency exchange rates will prove helpful in staying on track.
Political and Legal Issues
Businesses are influenced by politics, relationships between countries and laws. Certain processes of organizations may be difficult to follow because of legal issues. Decisions by political leaders or sudden changes in laws can lead to challenges in the working of the organization. A business expansion strategy for facing these issues should be prepared. There are different ways to overcome these issues:
- Ensuring that all new and big decisions and actions are taken with complete precaution. The legal team must be kept on track with respect to all big decisions and changes being made in the organization
- Having crisis strategies in place for unwanted situations that may arise can be handy
Supply Chain and Logistical Issues
Every country runs business differently. Adapting to a new country’s supply chain and logistics systems can take time and can be challenging. There may be restrictions on the transportation of certain products from one state to the other. To overcome these challenges, the companies must:
- Have an organized transportation system in place after checking all transportation regulations in the country
- Have a strong documentation system of contracts and agreements which can serve as proofs in case of legal issues
- Have strong lines of communication in the international supply chain system can improve effectiveness and efficiency
Expanding your business internationally can be challenging however, if all the challenges are tackled strategically, an international expansion may prove to be beneficial for the brand and can increase sales and profits. Such growth can be useful in enhancing the brand and providing value to customers across the globe.
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