Interviews

5 tips for launching overseas

3 min read

17 January 2014

With his hot tub business steadily growing year on year, Daniel Thomas is re-launching to the French market. Here, Thomas puts together his top tips for launching your business overseas.

1. Research your market

Do your homework. You need to be sure there’s a market for your product or service in the country you’re hoping to launch in. If there is, look at the competition. What do they offer? Can you compete on price and quality? Can you bring something new to the sector? You wouldn’t launch in the UK without first doing your research so make sure you apply that rule where ever you’re planning to open.

2. Finance

Have finances in place before you even start. Be realistic and make sure you factor things in like translation services, legal advice, your travel expenses and the cost of moving products or the service you offer to another country.

3. Localisation

Are there cultural differences you need to be aware of that may have an impact on the products or services you take to the new country? What is the preferred language? Are there particular hours and days businesses trade? What are the favoured payment options? How and how quickly do customers expect their product to be delivered? These are all important questions that you must be able to answer. Just because your business model works well in the UK, doesn’t mean it will do the same somewhere else.

4. Employees

Employ local people or at the very least native speakers. Language can be one of the biggest barriers – get that right and you’ll be heading in the right direction. Having native speakers is also important if you’re trading online. If potential customers have a question or call to speak to someone, then you must have someone available who can communicate with them. It’s also important to have the dialect just right on the website – the translation and the tone of it has to be perfect.

5. Expert business and legal advice

Talk to people in the area you’re planning to move to and take their advice. There will be unfamiliar red tape to deal with, local laws to comply to and a different taxation system. Make sure you have people on hand who can give you the support and advice you need.

Daniel Thomas is founder of hot tub site Danz.co.uk.

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