Make Your Global Transition Go More Smoothly With These Tips
It’s the time! You have been waiting for the right moment and now, the right moment is upon you. This is the moment for expansion. Some people might see this as a moment for circling the wagons. But they are setting themselves up for a huge opportunity cost.
The moments before a crisis has fully come to an end are precious opportunities that don’t come often in a lifetime. You have to take advantage of them before they go away. The pandemic hit businesses like a wrecking ball. But the mistake would be to wait until it has passed before making your next big move.
Timing is everything. It takes time to prepare for expansion, especially if that expansion takes you abroad. That is not the sort of thing that just happens overnight. So you have to start well before your global expansion takes effect. You also want the first-mover advantage with boots on the ground before your competitors have an opportunity to recover.
Make your presence known and let people realize you are in their market. When shoppers get into full swing, your competitors will flood the market. But the market will already be used to doing business with you. To make your global expansion go smoothly, get the timing just right. Then, do the following.
Localize All Documentation
When you go global, no one will expect you to know the language of every place where you do business. Such an expectation would be unreasonable. It is also unnecessary. All you need is to contract the aid of someone who provides technical translation services. One of the things provided by this type of service is the translation of all documentation related to your business.
If your business is not properly documented, disputes will not go your way. It is not just the language, but the culture. You have to look well beyond grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Doing these things well might help you pass a high-school test.
But they will not necessarily ensure clear communication. That is because language is idiomatic, even legal language. We can’t help it. Some ideas can only be expressed in word pictures. There is also the matter of words changing meaning within particular sectors of the culture over time. You can’t use your high-school Spanish to write legally binding work documents. Leave that to the experts if you want proper localization.
Develop More Websites
The one website you have been using will not be sufficient for your globalization plans. Be sure your website testing tools include localization for all the major markets where you plan to do business. For inspiration, go to the website of any global brand. One of the first things it will do is try to ascertain where you are so it can direct you to the proper site. All global brands have multiple websites for all the regions where they do business. The marketing and campaigns are all different, and for good reason:
There are regulatory differences for different parts of the world. What you can offer in one place might be illegal in another. Apple has to include earbuds in the box in France because of their radiation laws. In Brazil, they have to include chargers. One website cannot reflect all of those realities. So you need to have localized versions of your website for every region where you operate. When people get their local version of your site, they will be more confident doing business with you.
Also read: How to Build a Successful BI Strategy
Hire Local Managers
You can’t just go into a new place and expect the local population to trust you. Show them that you are serious about doing business in their country by hiring local managers. Even if your business is an online affair, contract the management of that site to local experts. In a retail setting, people need to see themselves represented.
They need to know that their concerns are being considered and met. They need to know that you understand the lay of the land. That understanding is best conveyed by hiring local people for key positions in the company leadership.
The top three things to do when going global are all related to localization. Be sure to localize all documentation. Localize all websites. And localize the managers who will be dealing with the public in that area.