Establishing your business in a foreign location is a milestone that every business owner would like to achieve. It only means that the company is stable enough to expand their trade elsewhere.
But managing a business overseas is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, foreign entrepreneurs face a different kind of challenge. Business owners who have branches in different locations would testify how hard it is to manage such feat. If you are thinking of expanding your business reach, expect to encounters these challenges:
- Communication barriers
This is not just an issue of language barrier. Although it is one of the factors, the bigger problem is relaying the message with less confusion. Due to cultural differences, the way people perceived a single message will differ and varies. Foreign business owners need to overcome this challenge in order to create a seamless flow of communication between two parties. One way to resolve this challenge is to understand the cultural difference of each party and learn how to communicate based on their cultural perception.
- Building trust
Since the business owner is not present to manage the business, it is likely that he/she will get someone to manage it for him/her. But putting your full trust on a total stranger can be a challenge itself. Most business owners worry that branch managers will not be able to replicate the management style of the headquarters and the possibility of mismanagement will always loom around. One way to solve this issue is to send someone from the headquarters to train the branch managers on the management style that the business owner would like to implement.
- Creating a business strategy
Although the head office and the branches are selling and offering the same products and services, the way that will be offered should be different. This is due to a number of factors that should be taken into account – from the location, target audience, and the channels that will be used. While there is a singular arc being used for overall marketing strategies, the business marketing strategist should create separate campaigns to ensure that the business is relaying the right message to their diverse target market.
- Managing customer expectations
Since the business owner is not present to handle the customer service department, it is hard for the entrepreneurs to deal with customer complaints and other client-related issues. The best way to mend this problem is to train the branch employees on how to deal with customer concerns.