It is a milestone achievement for you to expand your business to another
country. It can help you open window to the world. However, starting
business overseas is challenging, but it is achievable and easier than you
think; provided you have valuable know-how, fact and resources to help
you make the dream.
Below are 12 important tips for expanding your business to another
1. Select a country: I want to tell you not to bite more than you can
chew. Start small by expanding to one country instead of starting with 4
or 5 countries at a time.
Concentrate on a country; find out about its economy in employment
rate, Foreign exchange, consumer spending habits, income, political
climate, geographic and demographic information.
You can grow your business to more countries when you succeed in the
first country you expanded to.
2. Get information about immigration matters: Embassies and
Consulates have information about immigration policies and entry visa
to your destination country. The embassy will tell you the requirements
you must meet to secure visa to start business in its country. You will
also be informed of the type of visa you will need, how to apply and
conditions attached to your living in the country and all other
3. Enquire from your government: Government encourages foreign
trade(especially export) and gives information through its embassies
and mission abroad. Contact your embassy abroad for useful
information and fact.
The ministry or department of foreign trade & investments in your own
country is also ready to support you with information and contacts you
4. Network with people and organisation: Connect with people who have
same view with you, people who have tried it and have learnt from their
experience. Business organisations like trade associations, chambers of
commerce, business forums also have different channels of supporting
businesses in exporting or taking business abroad.
5. Calculate the risk and cost: Entrepreneurs are risk takers, but none of
them will cross the highway blindfolded. You need to know the dangers
involved in starting your business in foreign country and how to absorb
the unforeseeable, if it happens. It is also necessary for you to know all it
will cost (Capital & Human resources, commitment, time etc) for the
successful operation and make provision for it.
6. Do your market research: You need to find out if your product/service
is what the people need in the country. Opening pork shop in United
Kingdom could be a hit for you, but will be a total miss in a country like
Also find out about the similar product that are already in the market
(competitors),those that have folded up and those who are flying high.
This will give you insight on how to play your game. The more you know
about the market, the easier you succeed with your business abroad.
7. Travel: Couple of holiday visits to your favourite destination is not
enough for you to rely upon; to do business in such country. Attend
business conferences, trade fairs, events organized in the country.
Interact and exchange contact with the locals who can help you with
information on doing business in the country.
8. Get a tour guide: Tour guides are so helpful in many ways. You may
hire a tour guide who speaks local language and English fluently, to cut
your cost of hiring translator with him/her.
Tour guides have good information on addresses, offices, hang-outs,
etc. Tour guide charges per hour or per day.
9. Respect culture: Countries have different culture and Customs.
Respect for the local culture is one of the tools that will drive you to
success in growing your business overseas. What is right in your
country could be wrong in another country; for example, in the United
States, there is no issue if you offer tips for service rendered to you.
Meanwhile, it is offensive to offer tips in The Netherlands.
10. Employ the right people: In the case of international business,
choosing the right people to work for you is an important factor and a
tough one. Ensure most of your employee speak the local language and
make sure you employ the locals who understand the environment.
11. Protect yourself legally: Hey watch out! Don’t press the wrong
button. You will need professional services of business consultant and
international lawyer to ease the business registration process, contract
signing( but make sure you understand the language clearly before
putting pen to paper), taxation and other legal formalities, so that you
won’t get into troubles.
12. Establish effective communication channel: If you look forward to
making your business global, you will need to create effective means of
communication to reach employee, distributors, representatives and
other associates. Difference in time zone can frustrate communication,
so you have to set time for conference calls.
GoogleTalk, Skype and some other mobile phone applications have made
it cheaper and easier to make video calls and conference calls for
It is very interesting to expand your business horizon to another country
and introduce yourself to the world. Yup! I like living local and thinking
This post is a resourceful tip for you to expand your business and explore the emerging market.
Tip: Invest in Africa!
He is an entrepreneur, writer, barber and interior designer. Abiodun discusses and writes about entrepreneurship, leadership, business and economy.
He has interest in luxury, art, fashion, travel and technology.
Abiodun is passionate about sport, particularly football (soccer) and boxing.