No matter the size of your business, expanding overseas can be a recipe for long-term growth. Expanding overseas increases your market access and potential customer base significantly, whilst also providing you with access to new talent, resources, and opportunities that strictly local businesses do not have. Despite these tangible benefits, going global is not a guaranteed success. Research has shown that only 25% of US businesses consider their overseas ventures successful.
Much of this is related to overreach, wherein the significant financial costs of setting up shop abroad do not generate enough revenue to make the expansion viable. However, thanks to emerging technologies, the costs of going global have never been lower. Rather than setting up an overseas office and sending half of your staff abroad, you can conduct business in every corner of the world without leaving your home base. Here’s how technology can help your business go global, and thrive in the process.
1. Establish Overseas E-Residency
Historically, one of the biggest costs of attempting to do business overseas was meeting the requirements to legally trade within another country or territory. However, thanks to the growing popularity of e-residency programs, establishing yourself in another country can be done without ever even visiting it. Them most popular of these is Estonia’s much-vaunted E-Residency program, which has allowed tens of thousands of businesses to become ‘virtual residents’ and enjoy unrestricted trade within the EU, all for a small fee of €190. The Economist, the Prime Minister of Japan, and German President Angela Merkel have all taken advantage of the program, which is a pretty strong endorsement.
2. Use Mobile Payment Solutions
Rather than jumping through the immense hurdles of international banking, which often come with hefty fees and Byzantine compliance laws, technology has enabled businesses to use a single digital payment solution to process payments from anywhere in the world. There are countless solutions to choose from, but the most popular ones in the world of business right now are PayPal, Alipay, PaySafeCard, Apply Pay, and Skrill. These secure and trusted solutions allow you to process payments in any currency, at any time, all while staying compliant and avoiding transaction fees.
3. Use Live-Streaming Technology
The advent of live-streaming technology has allowed people to conduct meetings, sales pitches, and negotiations with anyone in the world in real-time, at zero cost. What’s more, streaming is also allowing entire industries to offer their services on a global scale. Take the global online casino platform William Hill, for example. Thanks to live-streaming technologies, they now provide live casino games such as blackjack, poker, and roulette, featuring real dealers, to customers in Japan. With this simple technology, a previously localized company was able to expand into the Japanese market at very little cost.
4. Opt for Flexible Collaboration Tools
In any overseas expansion, communication is key. When you’re collaborating with many different stakeholders, often in different time zones, flexible and fully cloud-based tools are key. Rather than sticking with email phone calls, use an all-in-one digital solution such as Microsoft Teams, Trello, Asana, or Slack. This will allow you to keep track of all of your overseas activities and ensure that no clients, partners, or customers are lost in the noise. Since different cultures prefer different working habits, these tools will also allow you to adapt according to their needs, as they all have built-in phone, video calling, instant messaging, and social features.
With these simple, affordable technological resources, you will be able to go global without taking significant risks. Look beyond your bubble today and begin exploring the wealth of opportunities that await you in the wider world.