Increased globalisation and the advent of the internet have made the world feel like a much smaller place. Many small business owners realise that in order to take their company to the next level, they need to become a global outlet. However, many fail to realise the extra work necessary to make this a reality. It’s not enough to simply make yourself available to foreign customers. You also need to meet their unique expectations and adapt to a different market.
If you are serious about expanding your business, online marketing should be a crucial component of your overall strategy. After all, if no-one is aware of your services you can’t expect them to choose you over your competitors. You’re likely already making use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but it’s also important that you understand that there are other popular platforms in other regions of the world. For instance, in China, Renren and Qzone dominate while Facebook is near non-existent. In fact, the latter has one of the most active communities in the industry, with around 150m active users.
Hiring and Outsourcing
If you want to make a statement that you really value customers of a certain region, the best way you can do this is by hiring individuals who speak the language. Being able to interact with your overseas customers on their own terms and understand your cultural differences is crucial to receiving valuable feedback on how you can continue to grow and improve your business. One of the major advantages of hiring employees in other countries is that you can take advantage of a full 24-hour work day. If you want your customers to have the best possible experience, you’ll want to be able to offer them a customer support line that works on their local time.
Shipping and Storage
Finally, offering delivery options to countries all around the globe will have to become a day-to-day part of your company. Bringing your services worldwide may result in a high initial demand before orders regress to a more manageable average. During this period, you may want to take out extra storage from a provider like Safestore to ensure you get you through this period without any problems. If you’re sending out goods to other companies, such as test samples in the hope a local retailer will stock your goods, you should use a business-grade courier to ensure your items arrive both quickly and safely.
Customers now have more options available to them than ever before, and it’s not unusual for your goods’ prices to be compared against other businesses from different parts of the world. With the added security of online payment systems like PayPal and the option of overnight shipping, buying from countries abroad is no longer a scary proposition for many consumers.