There are numerous companies doing business outside of the country. In fact, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce, over 95% of global consumers and 80% of the world’s purchasing power are outside the U.S. — making international organizations a lucrative sector. However, running an international business with physical branches and operations in more than a single country isn’t a small feat, and it can be challenging. But anyone can do it successfully.
To help you run your international business seamlessly across the world — here are five tips to remember when running and managing a company a world away.
Embrace Cultural Differences
Working alongside international and global business leaders and organizations gives an entirely new perspective on your company. However, it can come with a unique set of challenges, such as dealing with different cultures based on region, country, or religion. Embrace those various perspectives and take interactive and collaborative leadership training to overcome these obstacles, allowing you to appreciate different cultures while leveraging your employees’ unified visions — increasing your chances of success.
Many businesses expand internationally eagerly, without doing their research first, leaving them placing their resources in the wrong places. To avoid this, be proactive and create strategies to ensure gradual business growth when pursuing foreign markets. Determine which sectors have the highest potential and consider the size of the markets, competition, and access to the different distribution channels — to see if it’s worth expanding there or not.
Communicate Clearly and Frequently
When operating businesses internationally, communicating with employees is key to success. Having employees that are several time zones behind or ahead of you can be challenging, so to efficiently manage their workload, you need to establish and keep an ongoing and open dialogue with them.
Consider the Impact of Currency Value Fluctuations
Remember that currency values across the world change constantly. That’s why you need to be aware of these changes to protect your bottom line. You can do this by practicing hedging, allowing you to lock in an exchange rate for future transactions, or take advantage of more favorable rates. You can also fight this by reducing the time between your invoice and actual transaction settlements as currencies are less likely to change drastically over a shorter time frame.
Bridge the Gap with Technology
Establishing a personal connection with your team is essential when running an international business, and using the right technology can immensely help. Plus, sharing technology, workplaces, and cloud storage solutions can make remote working a seamless process. Technology can also help you keep track of your team’s progress — enabling you to stay organized, usually the linchpin to a successful international business.
Establish and Maintain Relationships
Living a world away means you need to work harder to retain the ideal employee and customer relationships. It’s best to schedule weekly company update calls with your workers as it can be challenging to gauge tones via written forms of communications, like emails or chats. Moreover, going out of your way to set in-person meetings with your employee and clients in other countries can drastically improve these business relationships. Finally, remember that thoughtfulness can go a long way — so when an employee has a birthday coming up, send them a greeting.
Although running an international business with several branches abroad can be challenging, it gives you a unique perspective and better opportunities to expand, earn more — and meet new people. With the right practices like the ones mentioned, it can be a seamless process.