Starting From Scratch- Best Tips To Unlock International Opportunities


Starting from scratch is immensely challenging for entrepreneurs. The challenge gets even more daunting if you plan to explore overseas markets instead of local ones. Your inexperience is not the only thing that can stand in the way of growth. An international business has a unique set of problems that makes them more difficult to run. But passionate entrepreneurs still pursue their dream and succeed with the right approach. Everything boils down to picking the right strategies to capture the market and stand apart despite being new in the landscape. Here are some tried and tested tips to unlock international opportunities as a startup.

Be well-informed

Establishing a startup does not require a business degree from a top university. Even college dropouts dive in and succeed because they have the right mindset. When starting from scratch, being well-informed gives you a head start. It is even more crucial if you plan to take on an international market. Research the country and market well, and pick the nitty-gritty that may influence your business in the long run. Focus on factors such as market size, target demographics, spending habits, business environment, and foreign trade requirements. Also, check the political and economic situation, culture, and customs as they can help you make the right decisions.

Give attention to legal and tax issues

Every country has specific legal and tax guidelines for businesses operating there. Further, there could be additional ones for companies entering from overseas. It is vital to gain a good understanding of the legal regulations, industry-specific compliance requirements, and tax schemes. If you fail to comply with them, your new business may end up facing penalties and legal repercussions. It is the last thing you want to encounter when making a start overseas. Ensure checking the local law, employment practices, regulated activities, international agreements, customs procedures, and more.

Seek expert assistance

Only knowing the legal and tax issues is not enough to keep your international venture on the right side of the law. You must also ensure compliance to be safe. The best way to do it is by seeking expert assistance rather than trying to handle these matters on your own. Find a lawyer to guide you regarding trade agreements, rent deeds, and employment contracts. Likewise, a knowledgeable customs broker can be your savior when it comes to getting your goods across the borders seamlessly. They can check your paperwork, fill in the apt tariff codes, and help with duty drawback recovery. Expert assistance is worth the price, so do not skimp on it.

Explore funding and insurance options

Startups require funds, regardless of the area they choose to operate in. Setting up a business abroad sounds daunting from the funding perspective, but you can steer clear of the challenges by exploring options. Luckily, many countries have government funding initiatives to support expansion. Check if your venture qualifies for a government support program. You will also require insurance to mitigate trade and political risks. Look for one that offers adequate coverage without burning a hole in your shoestring budget.

Choose the apt structure

Choosing the apt structure is another factor you must consider while starting from scratch. The choice depends on your goals and vision. For example, you may establish a company overseas, run an export-import business without a physical office, be a part of a  joint venture, or open a branch office. Tax rates and administrative procedures vary depending on the structure you choose. Study each possibility and seek expert advice before making a decision.

Build a startup team

International growth is also about having a great team. You need to pick the resources even more wisely when starting from scratch. Opt for a small team with adequate expertise because a large one can pinch your budget. You will also require a bigger space to accommodate them. Consider hiring a mix of local resources and remote talent to get the best of both worlds. Local employees can provide valuable insights about customers and markets. Remote resources can hold the fort back home. Besides picking a great team, invest in quality training to get the best from your people.

Starting from scratch sounds challenging, but you need not let apprehension crush your international business vision. Good research and strategic planning can keep you a step ahead of the challenges. Most importantly, do not hesitate to hire experts to help with making the journey a smooth one. You will not have to struggle with small issues and big challenges with reliable expertise at hand.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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