The high number of British SMEs seeking to expand abroad and trade goods in foreign markets is higher than it has ever been. The reasons are obvious, with Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East predicting an average of about five per cent economic growth this year, not to mention an ever-expanding consumer base
Making the odd sale and shipment to a foreign market might appeal to business owners planning a short-term, quick return on investment for their buck. However, the more successful international businesses tap into new markets with broader, long-term goals, easily conquering any linguistic and cultural obstacles.
We have already looked at how to mitigate the risks of fraud during the necessary procurement processes of identifying and evaluating foreign suppliers and tenders. However, once assured by the chosen supplier and confident that the product will sell on the new market, long-term success abroad hinges on understanding a different business culture and the laws included with it . These laws include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Order approval restricting the export of a certain product.
- The proper documentation for local customs, governments and port authorities, to name but a few.
- Necessary data and information for invoice creation and tax reclamation.
- A large selection of permits abiding to the necessary regulations, such as health, insurance and shipping declarations.
- Logistics tariffs and procedures.
See the eSourcing wiki for a more definitive list.
The importance of these documents should not be underestimated; the fine print can make all the difference in whether a business succeeds or wanes, making effective communication and document handling absolutely essential. Assuming that all the necessary procurements will be conducted in English is a very naïve expectation, the kind that makes a business appear distinctly foreign and out of touch, preventing it from truly plugging into a new consumer base.
Today Translations specialises in providing the strategic expertise for businesses seeking to expand globally, while managing and improving multilingual communication channels. Our services include advice on any cultural or localisation queries, highlighting potential risks and, of course, managing any requirements for translated material through a global network of over 2,000 certified linguists.
It’s important that you remain in control and very much in-the-know when opening up your business to foreign markets. At Today Translations, our aim is to guide you in the right direction, ensuring that your brand really speaks to your new audience.