Post by Dr. Marsha Firestone, contributing Women On Business writer
I recently posted a blog about how to grow your business. Global expansion was one suggestion that can be beneficial to growing your business by creating jobs, enhancing local competitiveness, and gaining customers internationally.
One point that I feel is imperative to focus on when going global is making sure you understand contracts, currency exchange, licenses and customs in the countries you are looking into. Before you expand into foreign markets, research must be done to ensure you avoid insulting the business people in that country. By respecting their business practices and having all of the correct documentation and currency, you will gain their confidence and respect.
The following websites can help make certain that your trip goes smoothly.
For general information about doing business abroad, The US department of State is a great resource to check out: http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/cba/176.htm
Before you leave, you want to make sure you have all of the correct documentation. For information on authentication of documents, try this site: http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/
You will be dealing with at least one different type of currency while you are abroad. A currency converter will be necessary. Familiarize yourself with the country’s currency, exchange rate, and more by using this currency converter: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Visit the following site for general tips on how to safely travel abroad: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html
Foreign countries have very different customs than the US. Be sure to read up on the various places you may be and familiarize yourself with local customs and laws: http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html
Another helpful tip is to research the country’s embassy before you leave. Check this website to view sites of different foreign embassies: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm
Finally, while you are away, if you find you need money sent from the US, there are a few options to consider. Each one is explained here: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1198.html
If you do your research, you can ensure a safe and successful business trip abroad. Global expansion can be daunting but should not be avoided. With properly conducted research, your business can succeed and thrive in new territory.