Even for the most seasoned professional, operating a business overseas is not an easy task. Between communication issues and the difficulty of conducting business across multiple time zones, it can be challenging to stay on track with all of your initiatives.
Here are four proven ways that you can manage your small business overseas.
Communicate Clearly: Effective communication is essential in any business setting. It is particularly crucial when conducting small business overseas. Language and cultural differences can present extra challenges when working internationally. Working with people in different time zones introduces an addtional layer of complexity into the situation. In order to mitigate these challenges, it is imperative that you communicate often and clearly. Encouraging open dialogues is important so that every employee and client feels valued and understood. Rather than trying to fight the culture challenges, you should look for ways to embrace these differences to gain a new perspective.
Create and Maintain Relationships: Without the ability to gather in person, you are going to need to be intentional about creating new relationships and nurturing the existing ones. While it may be tempting to circumvent time zone challenges by solely communicating through email, it is important that you make the effort to talk over the phone or video conferencing calls occasionally. While it may be more difficult to curate social relationships with the staff, a little effort can go a long way when you are looking to maintain these connections. Even something as simple as acknowledging birthdays can go a long way in nurturing these relationships so that everyone feels as if they are part of a team.
Lean Into Your Partnerships: Now is the time to leverage your existing partnerships to advance your business goals. Finding ways that you can create mutually beneficial partnerships with your contacts in the place of business will only help to grow your company. You will be surprised about how many people are willing to work with you if they also see the value in the partnership. The local people on the ground will be a good source for finding new partnerships to explore.
Harness the Power of Technology: In today’s increasingly connected world, it is easier than ever to use technology to stay in control of your overseas business operations. One of the key cogs in a successful international business venture is making sure that you have a payment processor ready to go. For example, if you have contractors located in foreign countries such as India, you will need to plan a way to send and receive currency. You do not want to stress and realize that you need to send money to India with no a plan already in place to complete the transaction.
With the right planning and execution, your small overseas business will continue to thrive even in this unprecedented economic environment. Staying on top of your communication efforts and leveraging the technology and processes available to you now will yield the best results when looking to hit all of your business targets.