Tips for International Business Expansion

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Creating a presence in one or more international markets requires a team of local service providers. They are your point people who can facilitate global trade, whatever the business process–finance, HR, legal, vendor sourcing and so on. Identifying the right LSPs for your business isn’t cheap or easy. But it is doable, especially if you follow these three proven guidelines:

1. Set your expectations correctly. That entails first identifying whether there’s a possible fit between what you need your business to accomplish and the opportunities and obstacles in a specific marketplace. The standard ways of conducting business–everything from putting together contracts to ensuring production quality–may be too frustrating for you in certain countries. In that case, investigate other markets, and don’t expect anything to be as straightforward as it is in the United States.

Once you’ve decided on a market you want to pursue, start looking for local representation. Folks at firms like Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and High Street Partners provide services that can help you connect with qualified locals in your country of choice.

Finally, tap into peer networks by joining trade associations, exhibiting at local trade fairs, and networking at conferences and seminars. You’ll meet entrepreneurs who’ve already gone through this, so you won’t have to reinvent the wheel.

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