3 Things Businesses Should Know Before Going International

Owning and leading a successful business is an integral part of the American Dream. Our history has taught us about the successes of men like J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. We were brought up to admire these business geniuses and strive to replicate their achievements.

Winners write history. While we read and admire successes and their “from rags to riches” stories, we tend to overlook the others; those who failed in their ventures. That’s a nasty habit hindering our breakthrough.

History is more than letters on paper. It is our teacher; we are its pupils. And all achieving students take notes. We have followed and analyzed global successes and failures. This article contains all the necessary methods and preparations required for your business to spread its wings and fly to the top of the world.

Cultural Differences

The language barrier is the first thing that pops into our minds when we mention cultural differences. Whereas this is true, there is more to it than that. Always establish which language your potential clients and partners prefer, but don’t stop there.

Many failed global ventures forgot to take into account one important thing. Maybe the most important. Legal differences and different customs across the ocean.

A complicated matter such as this is too broad to cover in a single article. Our recommendation is to include an international legal and business consultant in your closest circle. The ideal expert is one who knows the language of the target region.

Always take time to learn the ins and outs of the region you plan to expand into. Your partners will praise your meticulousness and business instincts. Rushing these preparations can tarnish your reputation beyond recovery.

Imagine this hypothetical scenario: You negotiated a project, and then, hours before the launch, you find out that your partner doesn’t have an approved trade license zone for your region? Would you risk any further cooperation?

Use the Internet to Create a Global Image

We live in a digital age. Using the internet is much more than sharing selfies on Instagram and watching funny cat videos on Facebook. It is a potent fertilizer for the global growth of your business.

Social media connects people all around the world. It’s an opportunity to raise brand awareness across the globe. Those who recognize this potential have no problems reaching their clients organically.

But don’t limit yourself on social media only. Use the riches of the internet to create your digital business card. Stand out with a unique look and attract the most partners that you can.

Geographical Differences

The previous entries were technical factors. This one is more concerned with the human aspect of global expansion. Time zones sound like a no brainer, but many potential collaborations failed due to one side not respecting the time differences.

Your 1 p.m. on a Friday is someone else’s 2 a.m. on a Saturday. Some of us are workaholics and wouldn’t mind a call, but most people are enjoying their weekends at that time.

The global expansion introduces another way of meetings – video calls. These will replace your standard face-to-face negotiations. Take your time to learn video call business etiquette before beginning with your global expansion.

We believe that you should meet your partners in person whenever it is possible. However, don’t count on that possibility with each partner. Maybe the most important rule with video calls is to wear pants. Never make a call wearing a shirt, a blazer, and only underpants below.


Global expansion is, essentially, preparation. If you can respect cultural differences, build a global online presence, and be aware of timezones, you’re on the road to success. Your brainchild is “making it” in the world. You cannot allow it to go unprepared. Read and study because knowledge is the key to success. We hope that our guidelines showed you where to begin your own story of victory.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.