Management Tips For Business Owners Looking To Expand Internationally
The world of business has become much more global as technology makes it easier to instantly speak with a person on the other side of the world. This has led quite a few businesses to expand internationally and to have an office or factory in a foreign country. This can be difficult as many of the employment laws are quite different depending on what country you decide to set up an office in.
The opening of a business in another country can leave the original location vulnerable as failure can lead to the closing of both offices if finances have been overextended. The following are management tips for business owners that are looking to expand internationally.
Knowing The Global Industry
Simply moving a business or opening a new location in a country does not guarantee success. The fact that there is no competition in a certain area of a country does not mean that profits will automatically soar. Having no competition could be due to a complete lack of demand for a product or service in a country. A company selling heavy sweaters is not exactly going to do great business if they are located in a place where it rarely gets below 80 degrees.
The proper research should be done and if there is current competition in the area, do research on them to see where you can beat them. Some companies are weak in certain areas so this can be a selling point to new clients. For example, if the digital signage company in the area takes a week or two to come replace a light, guaranteeing 48 hour repair or the repair is free can give a leg up to the company with better customer service.
What Team Will Be Sent To Get Things Off of The Ground
The toughest part of expanding internationally is feeling like you have to be in two places at once. This is more than possible now with technology but having trusted employees take care of operations can help alleviate some of this stress.
Sending people to another country might sound incredible but those employees with children might not be willing to make the move. Younger employees that have no mortgage or kids can be prime candidates for these positions. If any of the staff speaks the language of the country you are expanding to, these people need to be given great offers as they possess the ability to do business in a foreign tongue.
Sharing information securely overseas is a bit more difficult as not every email carrier or website is available in certain countries due to censoring of content. Knowing how to modernize your small business or growing business with cloud ERP can be a huge advantage. The cloud offers a secure place to share information and this can even be done on a private server.
Make Sure There Is Talent In Your Area
The fact is that you are not going to be able to bring your entire team to another country. This would not be good for business as a business full of foreigners can be looked upon as invasive in certain countries. Employing those from around the area will give the business less of an “outsider” look. For this reason it is important to look for talent in the area before even making the decision on a location to open up next.
There are certain skills that are prevalent throughout certain areas which can make salary requirements go down. For example, if you are expanding a digital marketing agency overseas it is important to have great writers in multiple languages which can be difficult to find. The use of designers can be very affordable in places like India as there are a multitude of web developers and designers.
The gig economy has made pricing competitive enough to hire an entire team for what it would cost in the US for one in-house developer. Staffing a company before you open its doors in the area can help create a stir through future employees talking about the company.
Do Checkups On Offices or Factories
One of the most important things that you can do is to check up on offices that are based out of the country. Announcing your arrival is not wise as you want to see how things are working on a normal day when the big boss is not coming to the office. You might see working conditions that are not up to par with your home country’s standards but are acceptable in the new location. Fix these things immediately as even huge brands have taken quite a bit of negative attention for poor working conditions of their employees internationally.
It would take thousands or even millions of dollars to recover from a competitor finding out that someone you employ has been employing underage children or participating in what many people call sweatshops. Pleading ignorance is not going to cut it as the owner so it is important to know what is going on with all of your international locations.
Knowing Local Laws
Knowing the local employment laws of the country you are in could not be more important. This could be giving people breaks at certain times or a certain amount of vacation time given to employees in the country. It is important to find a location that gives employees rights but does not allow this to put the power in the employee’s hands. Things like harassment and termination are different throughout the globe so having someone who has worked in HR in that country doing the hiring and firing is imperative.
As you can see expanding is going to be stressful on you as a company owner as well as many of those on your staff. Keep in mind that some of your employees are moving to another company for opportunity as well as company loyalty. Take care of details and problems while they are small so they do not balloon into a business catastrophe.
Tommy Wyher is a marketing professional and former collegiate athlete. He enjoys consulting for new businesses as well as going for runs with his Huskies, Reptar and Nala.Read Full Bio