In Azzam Elder’s experience, many businesses wish to tap into international markets. There is a wealth of ways for them to do so without having their feet on the ground across the world, due to our ever–growing connectedness with the help of the internet. However, Azzam Elder, founder of Halo–Bloom, LLC Business Advisors, and Investment Group, who advises businessmen all over the world, says that there are also many reasons that businessmen come up with for simply keeping business at home in America, not least of which is that they don’t know where to start.
Azzam Elder offers these tips to those who would like to expand their businesses, but need a push to get going:
Find a local representative: When considering another country, we tend to think of the difference before the similarities between it and our own. Azzam Elder says that is exactly the right way to think when expanding your business abroad. There are going to be differences you never even thought of and could potentially be the end of your business dealings abroad if you are not aware of them. Thus, Azzam Elder suggests you find yourself a local representative as soon as possible. Not only does this give you someone your foreign customers can relate to better, but he or she will give you a wealth of information about the country and culture you are trying to understand.
Do your research: Your local representative will tell you a great deal that you want to know about your foreign market, but this does not give you an excuse to be lazy about research, Azzam Elder cautions. You must do your part to learn what you can, anyway you can, about your desired international marketplace. Showing interest in what your “would–be” clients are interested in will elevate you in their minds.
Travel virtually: If you have the money, by all means, travel to the place you want to expand your business to, Azzam Elder says, but if you don’t have that money, don’t travel – yet. This may seem to counter the tip listed above, but it is in fact an extension of it – and good business sense besides, Azzam Elder affirms. Save your money and just do your research to begin with. Don’t hop on a plane as soon as you have a potential client. Get a contract ready before you ever invest that kind of capital.
Finally, Azzam Elder suggests what may seem obvious, but should not be left unsaid:
Seek legal counsel: There are so many legalities and legal differences country to country that a businessman should think twice before trying to do it all himself.