Taking your business international is one of those daunting ideas that leaves people one of two ways - all in or all out. CCK Strategies, a Tulsa-based CPA firm that specializes in strategic plans for new and prospering entrepreneurs, recently hosted a workshop in our space addressing some of the hesitations that keep business owners from leaping into a global market. Here are the common misconceptions they say prevent entrepreneurs from even considering international expansion:
1) Going global isn’t worth the hassle.
Everyone knows there are a lot of rules in trading with other countries (i.e. import/export taxes, treaties, liabilities, etc.). Someone that doesn’t have an international business background or an understanding of international trade could easily be intimidated. However, getting your product into another country is actually easier than you think. Plus, the return in revenue is usually significantly higher in most markets when expanding outside of the United States. The hassle comes from not having a knowledge base for the international market you’re aiming at (but read on for that solution).
2) There are no answers to my questions, and there’s too much to learn on my own.
Companies like CCK specialize in creating connections with international business experts around the world. If they don’t know all the rules for selling your product in a specific country, they will find someone who does. And trust us, hiring someone to do the research on the front end is cheaper than making a financial blunder that could potentially hurt your business. Besides, how much easier can it be than having someone that’s been successful in your target market tell you the rules? Consider companies like CCK as a business mentor through taking your company global - if they don’t already have the answers, they’ll find them for you.
3) There are no free resources in Tulsa to help me go global.
FALSE. Outside of for-profit firms CCK, there are local organizations for entrepreneurs that (a) want to connect you with other people facing similar challenges and (b) curate and share advice from those that have already gone global. Oklahoma District Export Council and Tulsa Global Alliance are two of those groups. Oklahoma Governor’s International Team is also a prime resource for connecting with other international business owners and learning about the cultural of your potential target market.
All in all, don’t let these misconceptions limit your company’s potential. International business can seem intimidating, but it’s really just learning the do’s and don’ts. If you’ve been wanting to take your business international, we encourage you to take one step forward and reach out for some help. (Want a direct introduction to someone who can help? Shoot us an email.)