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Small Business Globalization: Should You Pursue Global Markets?

by Nancy
(Spain)

The Internet has made business globalization possible even for small businesses with tight marketing budgets. As soon as your company has a website, it becomes visible to the world. It's up to you to make a strategic decision whether you can, or should, try to cultivate that global audience and convert it into an expanded customer base.


Here are some factors to take into account:

Language.

Customers in a foreign country will want to be addressed in their own language.

Hiring a professional translation service to translate your website into local language versions is a manageable one-time investment. However, don't forget about the need to provide customer support to the customers you have recruited through your foreign language marketing.

Customers expect to be able to communicate with you in the language of their initial contact with your company. And if you frequently update your products and website content, the translation of your website, and other marketing materials, can become an ongoing expense.

Culture.

Your communication style, product positioning, and even the actual features of your product may need to be adapted for the foreign culture.

Before you make a decision about business globalization, take the time to engage in the new market research process. Who is your competition in that market? How do their offerings compare to yours? Are there cultural differences that will affect how your product is used or perceived? Does your product have technical features that might not work properly in another country?

Logistics.

Business globalization can create logistical challenges in terms of product or service delivery and payment processing.

If your small business sells a hard good or an offline service, make sure you have the infrastructure in place to deliver it internationally before you begin marketing to foreign customers.

Digital goods or services are much easier to deliver globally. However, you still need a cost-effective way to process international payments. PayPal and Skrill/Moneybookers are two services that will help.

Legal/Administrative Factors.

Finally, it's important to consult a lawyer to find out about the legal and administrative implications of your business globalization plans.

Ask about relevant international trade laws, tax laws, and local regulations in the countries where you intend to introduce your products or services, as well as other legal factors that could impact your company.



The global nature of the Internet has opened up significant opportunities for small businesses to market internationally. If your company's marketing strategy is focused exclusively on your domestic market, you may be missing out on a large part of your potential customer base. With proper research and planning, you can minimize your risks while turning your small business into a global player.

This article has been contributed by the TA Professional Translation Services Guide.

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