Thinking about finding a foreign partner?

Does your business need a foreign partner to boost exports during internationalisation?

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In order to achieve efficient export management and increase sales abroad, it may be best to look for a foreign partner. Why is this?

Well, the internationalisation process puts a strain on your financial capabilities, there’s no doubt about it. During your strategic planning before beginning internationalisation, you’ll have to decide whether you have enough cashflow and resources to increase your product output. Will you be able to satisfy the increase in demand overseas or will you need help doing so? Deciding to work with a foreign partner can alleviate the stress of trying to satisfy both domestic demand and boost exports to foreign markets at the same time. Pooling together the resources of both companies at once means you’ll have greater access to foreign markets, technology, working capital and people - the fundamentals of sustainable growth at a global level.

If you already have all the resources needed for both domestic demand and internationalisation then you may disregard the possibility of a foreign partner. But it’s not just about the benefit of maximising capacity. It’s the ability of accessing foreign markets faster which makes a foreign partner most attractive.!

Lack of cultural understanding is the main reason why most companies fail to market their product to international consumers. If your company lacks a deep knowledge on the target market trends, then a foreign partner would be able to accurately evaluate the potential of your product in foreign markets. After all, knowledge is power and they are experts in your market destination. Unfortunately due to language barriers, there’s only so much research a company can do on it’s own to find out how their international consumers interact. They may find out their consumer habits but when it comes to language, they will not know how well their product messages will be received. No one knows a target market better than a native, and a foreign partner can open new doors for you that were once not possible. They’ll evaluate whether your brand message is loud and clear for international consumers to hear and decide the best style of language to use to drive sales abroad.

But it’s not impossible to internationalise your business without the help of a foreign partner!

Yes, it may be easier to get a partner and use them as a translator. For a UK company that wants to sell abroad to Spain, a foreign partner would act as a English-Spanish translator as well as a Spanish-English translator to facilitate fluid communication between third parties involved in the shipping process. Effective, fluid communication between foreign distributors and foreign suppliers in any market overseas is essential to the internationalisation. But a foreign partner isn’t the only way to achieve a transparent line of communication with your potential buyers during export management.

Providing multilingual content as a strategy to start communicating with your foreign consumers and establishing new relations with foreign distributors or foreign suppliers is highly recommended. Start by analysing what your competitors are talking about online, what topics they care for on their social networks, blogs, websites. As well, analyze their web content to determine their keywords, and you will get to understand some of the cultural environment of your target market and the interests of your potential customers.

Then, with that information at hand and the support of a third party provider for translating and creating content in different languages, you can handle the foundations of your global operations from home and test the initial response you get from the market.

Legal aspects related to language barriers

Also, even if a local partner is involved, drawing up clear, concise bilingual contracts of what is expected of both parties should something go wrong is the key to a successful business. Whilst investing in the translation all information into the language of the foreign distributors is a valuable tool, professional translation of all foreign material such as contracts and legal documents for yourself is just as effective and avoids any miscommunication - something that is so vital when seeking relationships with new foreign suppliers or foreign distributors.

Once you’ve analysed whether your company has the capacity to operate without the help of a foreign partner. If it does not, speak to your local chamber of commerce. They have experts ready to help match your needs perfectly in the search for a foreign partner. If it is possible with a foreign partner, think about the ways in which you can tackle new foreign markets alone. Once you’ve know more about your target market trends, you can begin to translate your brand material in a language style that appeals to them most. Remember, speaking to the heart of international consumers is key to leveraging sales abroad!

So what are you waiting for to kick start the internationalisation process?

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