Advice and best practices for businesses

If you feel you are ready to face the challenges of international business, take this advice from business leaders who have been in your shoes.
Find the right partner and team.
If you plan to expand globally, you'll want a great team and partner. Even if your "partner" is in the form of a mentor, you'll want someone you can trust and who can vouch for you.
You will need someone who has a passion for your brand, understands the local market, has experience in the industry, has the necessary capital to grow and ideally has additional businesses where you can leverage shared resources.
The people you should hire to deal with your overseas business partners and customers should be fully immersed in the local environment, but should also be looking out for your interests.
Without a core team at your side with the necessary cultural, linguistic and local contacts, you will be at a competitive disadvantage.
Consider the impact of any new idea.
Instead of just thinking about how customers in your own country might receive your new ideas, you will need to think about how foreign customers will receive your ideas.
Time zones, language and cultural appropriateness need to be considered when you branch out internationally.
If you don't do this in advance, you risk offending your international partners by appearing to be more concerned about yourself for them.
Stay consistent in branding, but adapt to the environment.
Cultural norms and customer needs vary in foreign countries where you may need to adjust your sales approach, or even your product.
While you should remain true to your overall brand, it is important to adjust your product offerings to take into account local tastes.
You will need to allow yourself adequate localisation and flexibility to meet local customs and customer needs.
One of the key areas to adjust is with the sourcing of materials.
If you can maintain quality, local sourcing has the opportunity to improve cost margins and supply chain reliability.
Always do your due diligence
Before making important business decisions, you should think through all possible scenarios, especially during international expansion.
It is advisable to travel to the country or countries you want to expand into, and get a first-hand idea of how your business will operate. This will give you the opportunity to conduct research and test your product in the foreign market.
Research every aspect of your business strategy. Explore various alternatives and safeguards, do everything you can to understand the markets you are entering and take the time to get it right.