Doing business internationally is often touted as being one of the best ways to reach new customers and improve net profits for a company. When struggling to make sales or grow your business, global expansion could be the answer.
Going global in business is not without its difficulties. Get it right and it can provide you with empowering growth opportunities, but get it wrong and you risk real problems. eFax tips for doing business internationally include picking markets carefully, investing in the necessary tools for the job — like eFax — and working with local experts.
The benefits of doing international business are not hard to see. Domestic markets offer certain securities and opportunities, but they also have limitations. Global expansion is on the mind of any business that wants to achieve a new level of success. Microsoft conquered the United States, but if it hadn’t expanded into international markets, it wouldn’t be the juggernaut of industry we know today.
Even small businesses can prosper by developing international trade. If your sales have plateaued despite your best marketing efforts, it might not be your ability to reach customers, but simply a lack of them. Overseas markets can be a cost-effective way to access new streams of revenue, and develop a new customer base that helps your business thrive. But doing business internationally is not without its challenges. There are plenty of obstacles to overcome besides simple distance.
eFax is an international brand operating in countries across the globe. We’ve committed to our global expansion and made it succeed. In this blog, we share some of our tips for business owners looking for growth in international markets.
Consumer habits around the world vary widely. International companies have great success in some markets while drastically failing in others. Everything from spending habits to product desires changes the way people use a business. eBay, for example, famously attempted international expansion in China with poor results — despite being a huge success in regions like Europe and the USA. Market research is how you ensure you don’t fall prey to the problems that plagued business like eBay. Understand the kind of foreign companies new markets want to see — and those they don’t.
Part of your business plan for entering new target markets overseas should be to think about legal obligations and business regulations that may come into force. In the UK, you must rigorously adhere to a vast array of laws. In other countries, the laws are different, but your compliance with them is not. Successful world trade requires compliance with international laws. Fail to do so, and you’ll face severe consequences, just as you would in Britain. If you want to start doing business internationally, you have to play by their rules, in a similar way to businesses trading in Europe who need to comply with GDPR.
There can be some pretty major cultural differences when it comes to doing international businesses. Foreign countries have their way of doing things, just as we do. Moving into international markets and expecting businesses to cooperate with the way you conduct your affairs is a quick way to alienate potential partners and consumers alike. Success doing business internationally can simply come down to understanding new markets and taking steps to make sure you follow their culture. The solution to potential problems here is easy: educate yourself on the cultural norms of the international market you are entering, and you can adapt to meet them.
If you’ve travelled internationally, you’ve likely come across a well-known product sold widely in the UK with a drastically different name overseas. It’s still the same item, but the branding has completely changed. Examples include Dove for the chocolate bar Galaxy and Lays for Walkers crisps. There are many different reasons a business might opt to do this. A product or brand may already exist with a similar name, or the current branding may evoke negative or unwanted associations due to cultural differences or translations.
A good example of this is eReceptionist, a sister company of eFax. In the USA, eReceptionist is known as eVoice. Small tweaks to your branding to fit the foreign market can be valuable ways to improve business opportunity.
Changes you’ll experience don’t just stop at language barriers and cultural differences — you’ll also see diversification in the business tools used within markets. A great example of this comes from Japan, where fax machines are prevalent in almost all industries. Without the ability to fax, you’ll struggle to succeed in this international market. How do you solve the problem? You ensure your business has the tools it needs to operate within the international market effectively. In this example, the inclusion of online fax can support your goals.
But why not just regular fax machines?
It’s important to also consider the impact the incorporation of new tools will have on your current operation. A UK company looking at doing business internationally doesn’t want to acquire outdated fax machines. They have security issues, harm productivity and will become obsolete following the ISDN switch off. Think carefully about the tasks you’ll need to complete — and find the best tool to match the solution.
To get everything right, from truly understanding culture to knowing what your risk factors are, you need some expert support. Just as you’d employ a financial advisor to aid your in commercial activities at important junctures in your business’ life cycle, so too should you engage experts in foreign markets to support international expansion. Those who are familiar with the foreign country or market you are trying to achieve success in can guide decisions and set you on the right path. There is no substitute for true expertise.
eFax online fax solutions support your business through a range of diverse communication tools that enable streamlined international expansion. Considering doing business internationally? Find out how to send online fax, and discover why it’s the service you need.