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In the International Marketplace…

Your best method depends upon what you are trying to achieve. If you are a large company, there are many ways to grow internationally, and most find the simplest solution to be through a network of international resellers. Initially these can be managed from the home office, but care must be taken to assure that the process is properly managed. The vetting of international partners is not always as simple as the process back home. Your prospective partner must be able to demonstrate that he is fully covering the territory you need.

There are a number of problems to watch for: some smaller international resellers attempt to cover too much ground; for example a reseller in Germany may also attempt to cover Switzerland and Austria. But the cultural and market differences that exist in Europe are vastly different from those experienced at home. Many seemingly small countries are widely divided culturally, often in a way that would be difficult for an American to understand. A partner in the Netherlands once told us that there are 10 distinct regions within the country, and often folks in one region mistrust those from others to the point that they don’t really want to do business with them. And this in a country of only 10 million people!

Multiply this by every country in which you wish to do business, and it’s enough to make you want to give up before you start. But these facts are not meant to discourage you. Indeed, the reasons for expanding internationally are still just as valid; the potential pitfalls merely serve to illustrate the need to seek guidance at an early stage from someone familiar with these issues and how they can affect your plans who can assist you in the process. We always recommend a carefully planned process, where each step is laid out and appropriate milestones can be met.

For the smaller companies…

While we have spent much of our time focusing on businesses wishing to expand from the US into Europe and the UK, we have only recently begun to work the other side. We have many British friends, as an example, who have come to the US to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Most of these people have purchased businesses and are employing people. Many are successful, but an alarming number have arrived to learn that somewhere along the way they were lead astray by bad advice from sources they had trusted but who had turned out to be unworthy of their trust. This often started in the UK with people claiming to know who to go to and how to get started but were instead just trying to make a fast profit from unwary clients.

We have seen cases of bad visa advice, business brokers who have misrepresented the businesses they were selling and even accountants who did not provide the total picture. In some cases, the new owners arrived to learn that the numbers of clients in the business was much lower than they had been told and that the business could barely sustain itself, if even at all!

We are now beginning to work with other professionals in the Central Florida area to identify the best of the best for immigration advice, business advice and even advice on the personal aspects of life in the US. Having gone the other way ourselves, landing in the UK and not even knowing how to write a check (cheque!), we understand how daunting this may seem for the new immigrant.

For these smaller companies or even individuals, there are much simpler ways to develop an international business. The reasons are just as valid, plus there is the opportunity to get paid for going to places you like to go. One excellent vehicle to consider is an international franchise. If you choose a world class brand with a proven duplicatable way of doing things and an excellent track record, this can be a fun and easy path to success. There are several good choices, but we particularly like the wellness business, because it is poised to grow dramatically in the coming years.

In either case, we are here to help. Simply contact us for more information.