Scaling globally is a challenge for businesses. It requires careful planning and research, not to mention the logistics of it all.
An article on Bloomberg shares that Australian firms entering foreign countries need to be aware of how their market works and of cultural differences. This particular challenge comes with the need for a distinctive product or service, as this is what makes an international company stand out among local brands. To gather all this data and ensure that operations go smoothly, business owners can utilise all sorts of digital tools. Here are four types that are crucial for any international business:
1. Communication Tools
It’s vital that you stay connected with your employees, regardless of where they are in the world. The best way to do this is to make use of chat and videoconferencing apps. A report by ABC News shows that the demand for videoconferencing applications has grown exponentially since the pandemic began. Zoom, in particular, has gained millions of new users. In March 2020, the company reported that they reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants — a far cry from the measly 10 million they had in December 2019. If Zoom isn’t quite your style, other alternatives include GoogleMeet, Skype, and Facebook Messenger. As for chat applications, Slack, WhatsApp, and Telegram are quicker alternatives than the usual emailing programs. They also encrypt your messages, so your data is safe.
2. Cloud Storage Tools
Cloud computing systems make it easier to disseminate information throughout the company. And since files are stored online, they can be accessed from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it easier to collaborate with your coworkers. Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox are some of the most prominent cloud storage systems you can use for your business.
3. Economic Analysis Tools
When doing international business, companies need to be aware of the country’s economic and political status, as this can significantly affect sales. News sites can be considered a “tool” in that they’re a useful means to gather this data. For a more general view of the world, you can check out the Worldometer website. It’s a free resource with accurate statistics about the global population, the state of the economy, and more. As for more specific data needs, you can access FXCM’s forex heat map to help visualise international market data, based on the past day, the past week, or the past month. Monitoring the movements of foreign currencies, especially in the regions where you operate, can be extremely useful when it comes to ensuring cross-border payments are made as favourably as possible. This tool also flags currencies and regions with inconsistent signals, which can help you identify the potential risks and rewards of going through with certain trades or business deals. Overall, you need to have economic analysis tools that can present you with the big picture as well as the specifics of relevant locations. This ensures that you make informed business decisions.
4. Marketing Tools
Finally, you need marketing tools that can assist you in promoting your business overseas. Google Trends can give you an idea of what people are searching for around the world. Meanwhile, a Consumer Barometer can give you insights on how potential clients use the internet. These applications are beneficial for international businesses, especially since they can be filtered by country. You can also consider translating your website to make it more accessible to those from non-English speaking countries. And it just so happens that our Solutions combine translation tools with professional translators to help the client scale up to the global market. This ensures that your content is translated accurately, while still being marketable. If you want to learn the language yourself, you can also use applications like Duolingo or Babbel.
These four types of tools are essential for your international business to thrive. They can help you understand your target market and communicate more effectively, so make sure to incorporate them into your internal processes.
Written by Mark Saba, Founder and CEO, LEXIGO: With his passion for technology, business and globalization – Mark is responsible for realising LEXIGO's vision and strategic development of LEXIGO technologies, with a particular interest in translation process automation, machine learning and multicultural marketing. His experience in a diverse range of fields gives LEXIGO a dynamic and fresh approach to the delivery of its products and services.