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Should Your Small Business Have A Global Reach?

Should Your Small Business Have A Global Reach?

There are a huge number of benefits to running a small, lifestyle business. You have the ability to set your own hours, only work for clients you want to work for, and manage your own work-life balance as you prefer it. Many entrepreneurs are more than happy to run their small business on a local scale— but have you ever wondered if there’s a global potential to your brand?

If you have, you’re not alone; running a small business does not mean that entrepreneurs ignore the potential of the global marketplace. However, moving from a small, primarily local, business to a business with a global scope can be tricky. If you’re tempted to give it a try, then you’re going to need to be able to answer “yes” to all of the following questions…

Is your business on a strong footing?

You should not consider overseas expansion unless your domestic business is running well. Overseas expansion is always going to be challenging, so you need to ensure that you have a reliable base on which to build the next phase of your business.

Are you aware of the regulatory and legal requirements to sell overseas?

Selling overseas is a learning process, so you’re going to have to be willing to study. You’ll need to comply with a new set of regulations and licensing requirements. Furthermore, if you manufacture products, you will need to consider the potential patent issue. As notes, patent requirements differ across the globe, so you may need to obtain an additional patent if you want to sell in another country. 

Do you have a business that is useful in other countries?

It’s important to ask yourself whether there is actually a need for your business in the country that you’re considering selling it to. As an extreme example, if you sell sea fishing equipment, there’s no point trying to sell your equipment to residents of landlocked Lesotho. You should only consider expanding to countries where your products or services are genuinely useful, or you’ll struggle to establish a decent foothold.

Are you willing to adapt your business to suit other countries?

When you expand your small business into other markets, you’re effectively starting from scratch. This means that you’re going to have to be willing to research a market anew and, if applicable, adapt the way you do business to meet the needs of that market. The scope of these adaptations varies, from using the likes of to translate your website to having to modify an entire product to fit with cultural expectations overseas, but you have to commit to these steps if you want to make a success of a global expansion.

To conclude

If you can answer “yes” to the questions above — or are willing to make changes to your business operations that will allow you to say “yes” in the future — then there’s an excellent chance that your small business may indeed have the potential to go global.

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