5 New Expenses for Small Businesses That Go Global

PROMOTION

If you’re ready to expand your business into global markets, you need to keep certain considerations in mind to smoothly transition from local to international business. We’ve compiled the following list of five expenses you may incur while preparing your business for expansion.

Product Readiness

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Packaging standards differ from country to country. Getting to know how each system works allows you to prepare for unexpected expenses around packaging and shipping. Labeling is also a factor. International markets may require packaging to contain specific information, meet safety standards, or comply with regulations. Researching markets carefully means avoiding expenses you weren’t prepared for.

Team Expansion and Training

You may consider expanding your team to bring on those with global branding experience to guide your company through international rules and regulations. Training employees to think and work globally is an investment, but it’s one that pays off in customer relationships. Considering whether to hire in a foreign country can be determined by how much investment you plan to make in that region. If you’re focused on one country in particular, hiring locally, or working in conjunction with a local business, inserts your presence into the neighborhood.

Cultural Inclusions

Since you’ll be accessing markets with different cultures, languages, and customs, you’ll want to set yourself up to communicate with your customers. Websites, newsletters, and social media outlets can be used to present material in various languages. Incorporating the use of translation services can provide local keywords while keeping social media posts relevant and readable in several languages. Although it may be a bigger investment, localizing your content for each market in which you plan to do business may mean a bigger share of the pie.

Time

Time is an expense we don’t often account for in the ledger. Taking your company global means adapting to schedules that may not proceed at the same speed you’re accustomed to. Regulating your business practices to take into consideration time delays, shipping speeds, and delivery practices in various regions means you’ll save time and money. Investing in cloud-based technology may also save additional time by easing international communication and data access issues.

Taxes and Accounting

Tax laws are a tricky part of going global. Knowing how and when you’re taxed on foreign income is crucial to accurate reporting. For example, the Tax Policy Center advises, “The United States also taxes the foreign-source income of U.S.-based multinationals when it is repatriated to the U.S. parent, with a credit for foreign income taxes they’ve paid. Most other countries simply exempt the foreign-source income of their multinationals.”

When taking your company global, you may be wise to consult a tax attorney to fully understand and comply with your home country’s taxation policies. If you’re struggling with taxation issues, getting professional help can also help you clarify any questions you may have.

Going global is no longer the territory of corporate giants. Small businesses are entering international markets every day. The world is open for business, and while moving into a foreign market may seem daunting, doing your due diligence means you’re prepared for any and all contingencies both foreign and domestic.

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