These days finding the right market for your business might mean taking an international flight. And even if you don’t literally get on a plane you might find yourself negotiating prices for your T-Shirt or Shea Butter business with a merchant from Bangladesh or Ghana. Business has already gone international with multinationals and major corporations sourcing products from China to Pakistan. In fact even small businesses have been able to source abroad from China’s innovative small drop ship orders. So it may be high one you look for sunnier shores if your own are getting a little foggy. Here are 4 Tips on starting business abroad.
ONE: Check the Business Ease Rating
When choosing a destination to start a business, consider the steps you’ll need to take in order to make things happen.
The first and most important thing you’ll want to do is check the Ease of Doing Business rating. It’s not the best tool in the world, but it helps for what it is worth. It can help you make a determination between which country to make solid long-term business investment. You can download it online.
TWO: Check the Corruption Index
Also a very handy tool is the corruption index. This will help you understand how many extra-governmental hoops you may have to jump through. In some countries, officials may request kickbacks, bribes and special access in order to complete their jobs. On paper registering a company vehicle might cost $25, but department officials may solicitor you for additional monies bringing the actual total to register to nearly $75. So it’s important to do reseach. While this metric is not perfect it is helpful–and provides some context for knowing which countries struggle with “corruption.” This isn’t to say that there isn’t corruption in higher ranked countries, only that it is at a more manageable level. Some nations can barely function because of it.
THREE: Visit the Country’s Commerce or Trade Website
After you’ve done your research on the international indexes, it is a good idea to visit the nation’s commerce or international trade website. Take your time and go though it to understand how the nation processes information and informs visitors. It’s really important to visit the website because often the website’s efficiency is indicative of the department itself. It’s one thing for a page to go down periodically or need repair, but if you see ERROR 404 often and no updates on trade affairs, filing paperwork might be a hassle or not automated at all.
FOUR: Talk to People Who Have Opened Businesses or Invested.
One of the most important aspects of opening a business in a new country is talking to business owners there. Get their opinions, ask questions–even before you go! Find out if you need to be an “insider,” to start a business or to participate. Find out whether other foreigners are able to set up businesses and hire.
The world continues to expand. Do not let myopic actors who wish to restrict the prosperity of others discourage you from looking for opportunities. The world will change and it will change again. Rigidity in adapting will only cause breaking. The interconnected world can no longer wait for the rigid ideas of the past. New ways of buying, selling, currency, exchange and technology continue to change our interconnected world. Don’t get left behind–start connecting now!
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