Starting any small business is a major accomplishment, but you may have loftier dreams. Because technology helps the world feel smaller on a business level, it’s possible to expand to other countries when the timing is right. Aside from securing the liquid assets to expand, you must also consider several other factors to reduce costs and ensure success in foreign lands.

Bring Down the Language Barrier

Successful entrepreneur, Sukanto Tanoto, speaks several languages at home to broaden his childrens’ lives and career outlook. This language concept is critical to global expansion as well. If you target a specific country, such as China, you must know the local languages or hire a person with that talent. Hiring translators only makes business discussions less intimate and stilted. Break down the language barrier with at least one fluent employee to make the global transition easier and more lucrative.

VoIP for Communication

Long-distance telephone charges used to be a big concern for expanding businesses, but you can avoid any cost increases using VoIP or Voice-over Internet Protocol. Instead of using phone lines across countries, you’re using the Internet to data package audio conversations. The technology is vastly different, but you don’t notice a difference as you speak into the receiver. Talk to anyone across the globe at your leisure to create business bonds and successful transitions with expansion as the goal.

Be Present

Although video conferencing is commonplace for most businesses, it doesn’t take the place of being physically present in a building. As you plan expansion, schedule yourself to visit all the new offices or warehouses periodically. An entrepreneur with a finger on the company’s pulse has more respect and control over all the small details. You want to have a smooth relationship with all your employees at any of the new facilities. An absent owner or manager doesn’t impress the employees or customers.

Attention to Local Culture

Every region has it’s own specific culture, making it critical to study these areas before moving a product or service into the area. Some concepts could be taboo in particular cultures, such as body art. Even hand gestures and translations may be construed as offensive if there’s no research on an area or country. As a savvy businessperson, make it a point to meet with a cultural expert to smooth out any potential issues before investing in expansion.

Shipment Perks

When you are offering products across the globe, shipment charges come into play. These charges dramatically affect your profits and product pricing. Consider bulk pricing with one carrier using a contract. When you promise all your business to one shipper, they can cut fees substantially. Also evaluate the product’s weight and assembly needs. It may be more cost effective to ship the product in sections instead of a whole piece, for example. Shipping oversize items costs more than smaller shipments, saving you even more money. Be creative with shipment ideas to see the best global transit for your business.

From Japan to England, global commerce is the goal of many companies. Create a strategic plan to branch out at the right time. It may take a few years to truly complete the transition, but smart planning decreases the chances of possible business obstacles. Expanding your business takes commitment and passion for your service or product.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].