Small Business

5 Things To Know Before Expanding Overseas

When you’re looking to grow your business and expand into new markets, an overseas office might be a good fit. Developing into an office abroad can be a great way to reach new clients and grow your company’s reach. But it can also be a little bit scary. You don’t know what you don’t know. And, with so many things to think about before you even start looking into opening an overseas office, it can be overwhelming. Read on to learn more about what you need to keep in mind before making the big leap.

What are the cultural differences?

One of the most important things to think about when opening an overseas office is how cultural differences affect your business. You need to be aware of how different cultures work and what you commit yourself to when doing business in a new country.

But many benefits come with opening an overseas foreign office and experiencing the culture firsthand. These benefits include hiring talented locals, understanding the market better, and even lower international shipping costs by sourcing locally-produced goods.

Take time to consider your decision before leaping to open an overseas office. 

Be aware of the difference in timezones

When it comes to opening an overseas office, one of the first things you need to start thinking about is what time zone your new location operates in. It’s important to know this because you want to ensure that your marketing efforts and operations are aligned with those of the country you will be working in. If you don’t plan ahead for this, you could potentially miss out on many opportunities in your new location.

How will you communicate?

One of the first things you should think about when opening an overseas office is how you’ll be communicating with your team. How often will they be in contact? What are the best ways to make sure everyone stays in the loop? Do you want to video conference, send emails with updates, or hold daily meetings? You need to make sure that whatever system you choose is easy for everyone on the team, so communication doesn’t become a hassle.

Another thing to consider before opening an overseas office is how will these employees communicate with your existing offices if they speak a different language? Will there be a translator present at all times during conversations? Or do you need to make sure that each employee has a working knowledge of the language and culture before starting their job? 

How will you manage the new location?

In a perfect world, you will have someone on the ground in your new country or region to manage your location. However, if you don’t have a person on the ground, then it will be up to you to oversee everything from afar. To do this, you need to ensure that you have technology in place that can connect you with your team abroad and allow them to check in with you when needed. This could mean setting up Skype for video chats with your employees overseas – or even hiring an international phone service so they can call in when needed. Using automated applications and services such as EOR for payroll can be highly effective in ensuring standards are met when you cannot be there in person.

What security options will you need?

Before you open an overseas office, you’ll have to think about what security measures are suitable for your company. You should look at what data security options you will need for your overseas office. You’ll also want to consider how to implement them. For example, will you be using an offshore IT provider or a local IT partner? How can you ensure that employees are safe from cyberattacks?

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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