If you are a visionary local entrepreneur looking to expand your business globally, then you’re probably trying to figure out the most cost-effective option for doing so. Thankfully, all businesses and consumers have one of the most powerful international business expansion tools at your disposal: the internet. Thanks to technological growth, it is easier and more rewarding now to reach out to your prospective global clientele.
With many social networks growing into massive marketing platforms – Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, for example – finding international markets for your products or services is now more achievable and costs less. Besides that, technology has brought forth smartphones and tablets that have in turn brought more internet users online. These users are constantly making note of existing gaps in different markets, making their unmet needs clear, and freely displaying their interests and product preferences on social media.
With the right idea to address these gaps, a well-thought-out strategy for your new business, and a meticulous execution plan for its launch, your chances of success are almost guaranteed.
On top of helping with launching logistics, technology also plays a big role in minimizing other important business expenditure. This includes, but is not limited to, legal, localization, advertising, and translation costs. Learn more about how technology can reduce the cost of your international expansion.
1. Technology and International Expansion – Improved legal services
One key challenge businesses have to contend with in the pursuit of international expansion is the lack of knowledge in regards to international business laws. Data protection laws, export laws, and customs laws, among others, need special attention and due compliance in order to achieve a successful expansion.
Entrepreneurs might also struggle with the regulations that govern the target industry within the country to which they’re expanding: regulations regarding employee compensation, taxation, advertising, and many others can be difficult to navigate. Remember that the business laws you’re used to in home territory aren’t necessarily applicable in other countries. These legal and regulatory challenges can pose significant obstacles if they aren’t properly considered in the expansion process.
However, things are looking up for you, thanks to technology. Legal advice is more easily accessible through correspondence or even artificial intelligence (AI). Technology advances in this area – known as ‘LegalTech’ – enable businesses to receive invaluable advice through FAQs and instant/virtual messaging. These services are reasonably cheap, and connecting with legal experts early can save your business from the risk of financial penalty later. They are therefore budget-friendly and worth the investment.
2. Lowering translation costs
Thanks to social media, you can more easily find and commission the right translation company for your translation and localization needs. Find the right people with bilingual or multilingual experience in the region you need, and look at reviews regarding their skillsets. Machine translators are a technology undergoing continuous improvement, and can also help with smaller translation tasks.
Choosing the right translator for your international clientele has many cost benefits. For starters, a website that has been localized thoughtfully, by local experts will always have better conversion rates that one built outside of local contexts. If you pay a translator who is unfamiliar with the market and unable to contextualize your content, you may have to pay another translator to correct their work, doubling up your expenses. But if you engage a reputable professional translator, you will get value for your money upfront. That is very economical in the long term.
Technology has made localization even cheaper by making it possible to store translated text for future use. You can use tools such as translation memory to achieve this. The more the previously translated text you reuse, the smaller your future translation budgets will get.
3. Seamless international partnerships
Forming international partnerships today doesn’t require you to travel overseas: you can easily do that via social media direct messaging apps, or via email. Many business people have formed thriving import/export partnerships with internal agents without necessarily having met them in person, all thanks to technology.
And because technology has made it easy to ship goods and monitor their progress, you don’t need to spend as much money or time traveling to meet your international clients. What’s more, there are many reliable online money transfer companies that have made international payments seamless. Hiring a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) to handle such activities is another option for your business.
You can hold business meetings with partners and clients from the comfort of your own home with useful tools such as:
- Microsoft OneDrive, that allows you to store data in the cloud and access it remotely
- Office 365 that hands you control of your data, and
- Skype for Business that facilitates full-on HD videoconferencing.
All these tools reduce your overall business expansion budget to almost nil.
4. Affordable advertising
For starters, you can advertise your business on Facebook or Twitter at little to no cost. Additionally, you can now easily start a business website and promote it through search engine optimization (SEO) without having to break the bank. That helps you to reach your international audience and improve your conversion rates.
Contact us for help
At any step of the way during an expansion, engaging with local legal and accounting experts can be greatly beneficial for ensure you start off on the right foot. At Biz Latin Hub, our team is here to help you set up and expand in the right way, and avoid future monetary penalties or unforeseen costs.
Our local and expatriate professionals operate across 13 countries in Latin America and the Pacific. Our full suite of market entry and back-office services are designed to bridge cultural and bureaucratic gaps between you and your new market.
Reach out to us today at [email protected] for more information and a personalized quote to help you on your way.