What Are The Challenges When Internationalizing Your Startup?

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Operating globally is truly a challenge. However, you can check out some of these tips and determine if you are ready and how you can make sure that you are, in fact, prepared for this step.

Going international with a startup is a challenging ordeal, but a necessary one in many industries. Some European businesses simply have a better chance in America or Asia, especially with a developed startup culture overseas.

However, as with many things, it’s easier said than done and entrepreneurs have many things to consider when expanding their business to other continents.

Firstly, there is the legal side of things which inevitably changes some things in your business model and operations. There are the expenses as well and considering how ready your business is financially for such a step. You should also consider language barriers, communication strategies, customer experience and naturally – how well will your product or service apply over there. You should also do a deep research of your competition and compatible products and services.

Here are some more things to consider:

#1 Ensuring That This Is The Right Step For You

One of the first challenges of internationalizing your business is understanding if your business is ready for this. There are many elements to this. For instance, are you financially ready and can you support this?

Next, you should think about what kind of an impact can your product have on a different market. It might work and sell excellently over there but it also might not work as well as you think. Research is essential in ensuring that your globalization really works.

#2 Overcoming Language Barriers

Language is definitely not as big of a problem as you might think because most of the world speaks English. However, if this is not the language you are fluent in or if you are taking your business somewhere where English is not widely spoken, you might need to consider how much of a barrier it really is before venturing out into that market.

You will have to translate your pages into several languages and adapt your content to different locations.

#3 Starting Too Early Or Too Late

This can be one of the biggest challenges for a company – determining exactly when you should expand into international markets. You can make a mistake of either starting too early when you are not yet ready or starting too late.

The first one happens because entrepreneurs are too eager to go global that they often don’t stop to consider the issues that might arise so early on. The latter happens when an entrepreneur is too afraid to go global or not even considering it from the start.

“Globalization should be a part of your strategy from early on, even with choosing a name for your brand, deciding on a business model and so on. It’s much easier than adapting later,” says Gisele Marin, a business consultant from 1Day2Write and OriginWritings.

#4 Communication Means

What might work for you in your current country in terms of communication might not be the right mean of communication globally. For example, your Facebook page may not work in America because those users prefer Twitter or something similar. Again, research is your best friend and you should definitely pay more attention to these things when planning to go global.

#5 Increasing Global Awareness

“Adapting the content to suit your user’s needs and preferences is one of your main tasks and challenges when globalizing. Every country has a different culture and mindset that may not agree with what you created for your own country. Especially European culture can be different than Asian or American. This could create problems for you because you want to build awareness and impact those people. Speak in their voice rather than maintaining your current one,” says a marketing manager from Write My X, Jordan Thomas.

#6 Poor Customer Experience

Differences between your national and international environment may be harming to your success globally. This is why you should consider setting up customer support teams in each country where you are doing business.

For instance, people from Brazil may not understand English and if there is an issue and a customer calls to complain and get information, you wouldn’t be able to understand each other, resulting in really poor customer experience. Customer service teams on each location are an excellent choice, especially if you hire locals who are also familiar with the culture and customs in said country.




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