This is a guest post written by Damien Justus. He is a freelance writer with a passion for business and technology. He writes primarily about technology trends in business, and anything else related.
If your ambition is exponential growth, you need to explore all the potential avenues. This includes opportunities across the globe that lies beyond your geographical and cultural boundaries.
Yes, we are talking about international business operations.
International business management comes with its own challenges and risks.
If you are managing international businesses, you may not be immediately able to find prospects or fix meetings. Initially, you should be looking to establish your product or services across the border.
First of all, why should you care about Opportunities across Globe?
In order to sustain the high growth rates, you should continually discover and leverage meetings across the boundaries.
Even if you are currently located in a growth hub, you may likely find a more favourable growth environment in a foreign location.
According to Index Mundi, China is closing in on America’s GDP fast. Chinese consumers currently have a robust purchasing power. In time, these companies may find a significant portion of their revenue turnover coming from these countries.
You may also find lower levels of competition and affordable talents to hire at these locations.
When you consider all the facts, China and other growing economies present a highly favourable picture.
However, with expanding your company’s business in other nations, you will also face increasing complexity within your company.
In this blog, we will discuss effectively managing your business operations in a foreign market.
1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Managing international operations require two-way communications between the different foreign branches and company headquarters in the home country.
Rather than a messaging App or E-mails, you would need a system that can handle incoming requests, messages and customer enquiries.
This would require a company culture that fosters ongoing and honest dialogue between managers and staff. You need a platform that would have a closed environment as a standard practice.
Otherwise, your decision-making process may start to lag a working day for each decision. It may also turn out to be too late to effectively correct problems.
2. Strategically Deploy Technology
As explained, information management is the most critical factor in managing an international business.
For small businesses, technology empowerment is a very important factor that determines overall growth.
You need to ensure that all the pertinent information gets exchanged between different facilities through a unified platform.
For example, order management software and an order picking software can have you seamlessly manage your stocks.
Consider that you have a scenario where you should fulfil a new order at the earliest in a foreign country.
When the stock runs low in a warehouse in another country order fulfilment should be performed automatically by computer software to ensure that new stocks arrive at the warehouse well-before there could be a negative product-demand gap. This will prevent shortages and helps to ensure that the entire operation runs like a well-oiled machine.
This requires you to have a technology that can set up and share information seamlessly between platforms.
3. Use Collaboration Software
Obviously, you need collaboration and communication between employees in different foreign branches within the company.
Employees on the ground in China, for example, will certainly have far more knowledge of the Chinese marketplace than staff in Portland or Oregon or Mumbai.n
A high degree of collaboration will ensure that these products are designed and launched successfully according to local market aspirations.
The Collaboration software allows employees thousands of miles apart to effectively work as a team. They can move a project through the planning stages and all the way to the launch date.
A digital workspace can effectively replicate the total workspace that is made available through the software.
4. Address Cultural Barriers
Some of the biggest barriers to creating synergy between foreign branches and headquarters in another nation are cultural differences. You need to start planning for this well before any kind of foreign expansion. You need people in your company headquarters who can speak the language.
If you wish to do business with Russia, having a staff who can speak and read Russian is paramount. Cultural norms also need to be addressed. An advertisement that may work well in the United States will probably not work well elsewhere. In the Middle East, religious taboos are a big factor that determines media advertising.
Overall, do the research and planning necessary to avoid problems.
5. Have a Clear Management Structure
Any corporation is only as successful and effective as its management structure. This will determine the flexibility in strategy and speed of decision making.
If there is no clear structure for how foreign divisions are managed and judged by company HQ, it will be certainly sowing seeds for severe future problems.
Those other divisions are likely to make mistakes or slack off without the sense of direct supervision and accountability. Instead, make sure the chain of command and the benchmarks for success are made succinctly clear.
Expanding overseas can certainly be a challenge for the ownership of a company. It is certainly far more complex than only doing business in one nation. Still, if you do put in the extra effort, having an international business can be extremely profitable.
It’s absolutely possible to remotely manage an international business with the right digital platform. It’s also very challenging to micro-manage the intricate information.