As your business grows, you reach a new perspective about what is possible. Besides expanding your business nationally, you may also want to expand your business to an emerging economy.
If, for instance, your market research shows that your products will be well received in India and your cost of doing business will be lower there, then you may want to jump on that option.
Still, it’s not always smooth sailing when it comes to setting up a branch in another country. Here are some challenges that you may have to face and some suggestions on how to deal with them:
1. Paying your new business partners.
The best way to set up a business in another country, say, India, is to establish a partnership with compatible business partners in that country. Besides document handling, you will also need to arrange a way to send your business partners money for services rendered or for setting up an infrastructure for you.
One quick and safe way to send money to India is via a money transfer, working with a company that offers fair rates, low fees, and many years of experience in the money transfer industry. Choose one that has built a relationship with trusted, well-established banks.
2. Work with reputable local, outsource teams.
You will need plenty of marketing-related work to build your base in an emerging country. While you can, of course, hire your own copywriters, blog designers, coders and other professionals and send the work out to your branch office, this might be a mistake.
For one thing, it’s based on an unfounded belief that in-house staffers or local freelancers will do a more professional job for you. You may, in fact, find people overseas who are more talented than your own team.
For another, you have to take into account that outsourced professionals in the other country will know the targeted market better. As a result, their work will resonate well with your intended audience.
Your best option is to hire local talent for all your outsourcing needs as this will be better-received in the country where you are doing your marketing.
3. Develop an appreciation for cultural differences.
Culture has a huge influence on views and values. If your marketing and sales are not aligned with your customer’s hopes, your business will experience losses, not profits.
You can’t build a brand if you don’t understand the fundamental ideas that inspire loyalty. Before you launch any marketing campaign, you must have a perspective on a culture.
Communication is difficult enough without contemplating cross-cultural communication. What you might consider a simple faux pas when it comes to promoting your brand may be viewed as a stinging insult. The wrong choice of words or an irreverent graphic in an advertisement could tarnish your brand image forever.
Before you promote your business in any way in another country, run it by your business partners in that country.
4. Understand your customer’s buying behavior.
What appeals to customers in your country will often be completely different in an emerging country. In Southeast Asia, credit card ownership and banking are not as ubiquitous as in Western countries. So, if your business model does not include a cash payment method, your business will fail to thrive.
It’s essential to understand your customer’s buying behavior to see if it aligns with your business model. If it doesn’t align, you may have to modify your business model.
5. Challenges in providing business services.
In Islamic countries, Sharia Law may prohibit you from doing business the same way that you would in a Western democracy. Problems might arise related to selling particular products, offering delivery services, handling customer service issues, or collecting late payments.
Sometimes it might be difficult to provide a business service due to a scarcity of transportation options. These could range from buying suitable trucks for transportation to a lack of roads in a particular geographical region.
If, for instance, you want to send merchandise to small-town retailers, it may be difficult for you to physically transport your goods at an affordable price. Another issue you may have to deal with is an absence of physical addresses when you need to deliver your products to your customer.
Since many business service barriers are difficult to overcome, you may be better off finding another market. For instance, if your cost of doing business exceeds how much your customers are willing to pay for your merchandise, your business is destined to fail before it even launches.
In summary, in order to capture a business opportunity in an emerging market, you must consider aligning with local business partners, working with local marketing and media professionals, taking steps to avoiding cultural faux pas, understanding your customer’s buying behavior, and confirming the logistics of cost-affordable business services to your customers.