How to grow your business with international clients

by Business Case Studies on Friday 8th June, 2018

London-based businesses typically perform well in international markets. Britain, and London in particular, are held in high regard in many countries.

Use the popularity of British-based goods and services to your advantage by emphasizing your address and provenance on channels and communications to external parties. Successful sales to international clients take into account the unique preferences of those customers.

Your location may be one benefit they care about, implying more desirable or higher quality goods or services. Customize other benefits based on your customer profiles in each separate location, keeping in mind that cultural and social norms vary widely and a benefit in one place may be unappealing or off-putting in another location.

That applies to all communications, including advertising and marketing content, as well as direct engagement, such as customer service. Digital tools help you reach international clients easily, but you need to take into account the norms of the target area and account for them. You can improve your results by involving a local partner or employee with experience in the international locations you intend to target, or by working with agencies or contractors with subject matter expertise who can help you customize communications.

Choosing to expand and target clients in one international location at a time helps you limit the effort required to adjust your offerings or communications, however, it does limit your overall market reach until you have the capacity to add another target location to your audience.

Growing your business internationally comes with other challenges besides understanding and serving clientele that fit an unfamiliar profile. There are legal requirements to deal with when doing business across borders. Imports and exports may be subject to regulation, trade agreements, and various fees, tariffs, taxes, or other charges. Your documentation may be subject to inspection by multiple countries or jurisdictions, and you’ll need to be careful to document things in a consistent way with an awareness of the possible extended repercussions of your records. For instance, office locations and locations of work can influence your financial and legal obligations to foreign bodies.

Involving an international trade specialist at an early stage can help you avoid costly mix-ups. Both legal and financial advisors should have direct experience in international trade, and preferably trade between your home office and the destinations you have a business relationship with. There are also trade organisations that support business growth into international markets that can offer you some guidance.

While financial record keeping and reporting for international clients can be a challenge, the actual transactions don’t need to be that difficult. There are just a few things to keep in mind. Currency markets fluctuate, and rates and fees vary between transfer providers. This becomes particularly important to remember in large transactions like a real estate investment or large-scale supply chain purchases.

Do some research when you know you have a larger financial transaction coming up and investigate money transfer companies in London for the best deal and most convenient location. Since fees and rates are often percentage based, your savings can be considerable on significant purchases.

Your business can grow its sales by expanding beyond the local market. Leverage your London or UK-based location, be selective about your target audience and customize your communications to them, and be diligent about researching, understanding, and complying with regulatory and taxation schemes that apply to your international business.

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