Size Isn’t Everything – 3 Things to Consider Before Doing Business Across Borders

When people hear about a global or international business, large multinational corporations usually come to mind. However, this is far from the case. Given the potential that “going global” has in order to create a more efficient, successful business, many people are realizing the benefits of crossing borders and reaching out to a broader array of consumers, even if you may be a small business. Just as the world is globalizing, the barriers are being deteriorated and the limits as to you possibilities are infinite.

Although the risk of expanding operations abroad can be high due to the differentiating climate, culture, geography, and laws, the return can be that much higher given that the demand elsewhere could be much greater than of that in your domestic region. Whether you’ve considered going abroad before or not, now is the time, and in order to do so I have provided you with a few things you need to consider before expanding your small business further into this great world.

1.Know your numbers

It only takes time, and not necessarily much of it in order from your business to go from a small business to a rapidly expanding one. Keeping tight control on your quarterly expenditures will help give you a good idea as to whether your business is on the rise and whether you have the resources to expand. As many people aren’t too eager about bookkeeping or keeping track of numbers, there are many websites, books or people out there that can make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your payables and receivables. An easy online tool to organize you receivables and payables for a low monthly price is Lessaccounting. Although accounting may not exactly be the first place you want to spend anymore operating costs as a small business, it’s an expense that can greatly assist your managerial accounting and finances in the long run. If all goes smooth and your sales/revenues are heading the right way, chances are that your next potential step is crossing borders.

2.Get to know the culture/ foreign market

Familiarizing yourself with the new potential customers, investors, partners and complementary businesses are important in order to lessen the culture shock that may be imposed upon you when entering into a foreign country. Even if you plan on operating solely online and targeting certain countries or regions of the world, understanding the prospective market can go a long way and ease the transition into a new market. It is highly likely that the culture you’re dealing with will be very grateful of your effort put into getting to know them and it will be evident in their reciprocity towards your small business. Regardless, thorough market research of the foreign market is essential. After gaining sufficient background information on the new market you should be able to generally answer whether or not the product would pose as useful to this new market.

3.Ensure a strong business model is present

Since a value proposition is only one component of the business model, the model as a whole has to be very clear and precise to your own individual business. If it isn’t clear as to why, how or who you’re doing business to in your domestic region, much trouble will be endured within a different region of the world. The better you get to know your business internally, the better prepared you will be wherever you may be located externally.

Although these are only a few of the first things to highly consider before expanding into a new foreign market in the beginning stages, it is important to realize that “going international” isn’t as complex as many may think. Keep in mind that consumers are consumers and if a product or service is able to meet their needs, there will be an increase in demand, at a potentially global level.

This is a guest post by Julie Cornell.  Julie is a freelance writer, WordPress enthusiast, and is currently the online community manager for Nusite Group, a specialty trades group specializing in basement waterproofing.  You can contact Shannon at shannonryan905[at]


Photo credit BackgroundNow

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CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
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