Doing business around the world can seem a long way from doing business in your hometown. But each year countless small businesses make the trek. Like most long journeys, going global can be boiled down to a series of steps. Here are the six basic steps to going global:
- Start your campaign to grow by international expansion by preparing an international business plan to evaluate your needs and set your goals. It’s essential to assess your readiness and commitment to grow internationally before you get started.
- Conduct foreign market research and identify international markets. The Department of Commerce is an excellent source of information on foreign markets for U.S. goods and services.
- Evaluate and select methods of distributing your product abroad. You can choose from a variety of means for distributing your product, from opening company-owned foreign subsidiaries to working with agents, representatives and distributors and setting up joint ventures.
- Learn how to set prices, negotiate deals and navigate the legal morass of exporting. Cultural, social, legal and economic differences make exporting a challenge for business owners who have only operated in the United States.
- Tap government and private sources of financing-and figure out ways to make sure you are getting paid. Financing is always an issue, but government interest in boosting exporting and centuries of financial innovation have made getting funding and getting paid easier than ever.
- Move your goods to their international market, making sure you package and label them in accordance with regulations in the market you are selling to. The globalization of transportation systems helps here, but regulations are still different everywhere you go.