Expanding business internationally? Don't make these five mistakes!

Overseas expansion can be very lucrative for a wide range of commercial enterprises. If your business is expanding internationally, it’s important to avoid making costly mistakes. 

An international business strategy will require significant due diligence if you want to position your brand effectively on the international stage. You will need a thorough and strategic understanding of the people, culture and economic dynamics of the country you wish to trade in

No market research

Research is the foundation of any business expansion. Companies fail in their expansion plans when they have not carried out enough market research. Often, they haven’t qualified whether customers are likely to buy from them or considered short and long-term trends. There are different ways to test out the viability of a new marketplace. Carry out a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the country’s market.
Different countries trade in different ways. In-depth market research can also be carried out, and this could include social advertising and surveys. These should be translated and localized in the customer’s language, reflecting cultural nuances for better engagement.

Foreign expansion - failure to develop a relevant offer to the new market

Put simply, your products and services need to appeal to the customers in the country you wish to expand in. This is where market research will pay dividends in the long run. Businesses need to understand the culture of the country, along with any social-political influences which could affect future trade. Never make assumptions about what will sell before you have tested the marketplace; you will have to try different offers to get it right.

Why should people in the new country buy from you? What makes you different to other international competitors? What needs do you fulfil, or problems do you solve for the people in your chosen country? These questions will help you create a suitable offer for customers when you start international business.

Skipping legal and business queries

Every country has its own set of rules and procedures when it comes to tax and the legal requirements for trading. Overlooking specific issues or areas relating to how a company needs to be run in a certain country could prove disastrous later. When you expanding internationally you will need to understand whether there are any applicable trading and pricing regulations.

Research the business structures allowed in the country you wish to trade in. There could be certain tax exemptions or liabilities for foreign investors. Understanding the attitude towards foreign investment is key because this could hinder further foreign expansion..

Failure to open a bank account in the new country

Opening a bank account in the country you wish to trade in will enable you to receive and move money more easily. Otherwise, your business could face costly international transactions and bank fees. It’s worth getting a full understanding of common payment methods for the country, as this will affect your choice of card merchant and their fees.

If you don’t open a bank account in your chosen country of trade, you will need to know the rules on cross-border transactions. There is a risk your company might have to face hefty tax liabilities, which could impact your profit margins. 

No website or app translated into the new country’s language 

Don’t expect potential customers in your new country of expansion to engage with English marketing. If you want to promote your business in Poland, for example, you will need to translate mobile apps and website content into Polish. To take this a stage further, one big mistake is when companies fail to localize the content to their intended audience.

Localization enables your marketing content to connect with your audience. A localized product or service will include relevant metaphors, images, slang, and other small details that allow you to make a big impression. You can test language out in focus groups.

Lang Bay can help you expand in foreign expansion with professional translations. I produce English-to-Polish translation, localization and subtitling, working with businesses worldwide. Effective translation will help you position your brand to the Polish marketplace. With my help, you can successfully expand your business in Poland, the largest Central European country.

Want to develop your business in Poland? I will help your company enter the Polish market with engaging content tailored to your brand’s tone of voice. Get in touch.

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