1) Start with global partners who speak the same language, literally. It can be easier to do business with those who speak your language. Until you get your feet wet in the global business world, you’ll at least have the same words for legal and financial considerations in the partnership. After some quick wins, you’ll feel comfortable branching out to other cultures, countries and languages.
2) Use the web and beef up your SEO strategy. A company’s virtual global reach is gravely underestimated. Maximize your key-words and push regular information out about your products. Let your international business partners find you first. Use Twitter, Linkedin and other social media platforms popular around the world to reach your possible clientele.
3) Ensure payments are secure. As much as we’d like to trust the world, people get funny about money. Use secure systems like Paypal or Western Union to transfer payments and ensure everyone feels good about the deal.
4) Analyze the demand for local products. There are great market research firms out there, partner with a few to find out potential demand for your product. Use Twitter to run your own market research and find out with the needs are in a specific country.
5) Attend international trade shows. If you prefer to go old-school or your product has a specific niche, reach customers directly at a trade show, they’re still very popular in many markets. But don’t go and just sit there all day. Talk to everyone, bring them into your booth, demo your product, and socialize at night.
6) Learn the cultural expectations of your potential customers. Very important to understand how it works abroad. Greetings, socializing, dress, presentations, negotiations, and decision-making are completely different from Sweden to China. Make sure you’re prepared!
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