Are you planning to take your company global? Or maybe your company is already in the international market, but you want to see it thrive. Here are some tips for being successful in today’s international business economy.
Translation, Translation, Translation!
Before even thinking about contacting potential customers in foreign markets, you need to have a reliable document translation services company. In order to be successful in international markets, it’s vital that the marketing for your company’s goods and services is translated into the local language. Too often companies cut corners by going with the cheapest document translation offer, not realizing that it will actually cost more time and money in the long run because the cheapest option is hardly ever accurate.
Do Your Homework
While most small businesses can successfully operate within the American economy, some entrepreneurs want to expand into the international market in order to grow or find a more cost-effective means of production. Most big businesses already conduct international business, but they need to refresh their strategy or cement their plans. Before beginning the process of globalizing your company or reevaluating your current strategy, you must do your homework. An article by Entrepreneur lists several questions, developed by Georgia State University Center for Business and Industrial Marketing Director Wesley Johnston, that one must ask before starting this process.
- Will the product sell in the international target culture?
- Is your product or service going to be familiar to your target market?
- Will you be comfortable operating within that country?
- What is the infrastructure like? Will it be easy to transport yourself, your materials, etc.?
Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy
Failure within the global market is often a result of poor planning. Along with the above-mentioned questions, the article highlights the importance of doing your research about other people and companies. Learn from their mistakes so you can save yourself and your business from potential embarrassment and ruin. The program director at the Bloch School of Business Administration at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, John E. Cleek, listed the following as the biggest hang-ups people face when globalizing.
- Unplanned strategy.
- Cleek states, “Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to this problem, but larger ones are often guilty of the same mistake. It takes far more time to extract yourself from problems created by lack of planning than it would to do it right the first time.”
- Trying to expand to too many markets at once. It’s wise to pick one country, learn as much as possible and put your all into pursuing that market before setting your sights on another one.
- Assuming that because it works in America, it will work in another country/culture.
- Assuming business will be conducted in English.
That last point is vital. Cleek says, “It is the height of ignorance to expect other people to learn our language to buy from us.” That is a fantastic point. How many times have you learned another language in order to buy a product? We’re guessing probably never. That makes the need for a reliable translation services company that much greater. ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc. can give you the accuracy your company needs in order to thrive on the international market.
Research, Research, Research!
The Entrepreneur article goes on to list several steps your company can take to ensure that you don’t fall into the pitfalls associated with expanding into the global market. Here are their six steps for going global:
- Research your company’s current standing, prepare an international business plan and set a realistic strategy for your plans and goals.
- Research and gain a thorough understanding of the international market your company is targeting.
- Research the best distribution plans for your goods and services.
- Research the different cultural, social, legal and economic facets of your target market and learn how to set prices, negotiate and operate legally within that market.
- Research government and private financial sources to ensure payment and a wise use of the opportunities available to growing businesses.
- Research regulations to be sure your marketing and packaging will even make it to your target market.
Did We Mention Do Your Homework?
As noted in the article, “less than 25% of U.S. business ventures abroad are successful.” Hilka Klinkenberg, founder of Etiquette International, explains, “A lot of that is because Americans don’t do their homework or because they think the rest of the world should do business the way they do business.” You only have one chance to make a first impression, so it’s in your company’s best interest to make it the best one possible. Do your homework and learn about the culture and business practices of your target clients before meeting with them. Klinkenberg provides the following tips on how to make your first impression count.
- Build a relationship before jumping into business discussions.
- Throw away time limits. Keep an open mind about meeting length, especially when negotiating.
- Do your research. Learning about the culture and having a comfort level with basic words in their language is a sign of respect and shows that you will be a serious and dependable business partner.
- Bring your own interpreter.
- Understand the significance of body language in their culture. Again – DO YOUR RESEARCH.
- Dress with respect and authority.
Do your research, have confidence in your goods and services and partner with a reliable document translation company like ASTA-USA and you’re sure to be a success on the global market.
Get the help you need – Contact ASTA-USA.
In a hurry? Call us for your free quote today: 1.866.446.1860.