Going international with your business is an extremely exciting time! You have reached the point at which you have reached your local or national capacity, customers are seeking you out, you have more room to grow, and you’re ready to enter into a new market. But, how do you go about the process of increasing your global reach?
Of course, growing and expanding your business internationally can be a daunting and overwhelming process. But, involving relevant parties who can assist a smoother operation for you and your company, is a fantastic start. Additionally, outsourcing professionals will speed up your transition to your new destination, and get your international business set up, and bringing you a return on your investment as quickly as possible.
First, you’ll need to ensure that your business is legally compliant at all times. This relates to worker contracts, compliance with visa requirements, and banking operations.
Misclassification of workers
When you expand internationally, your company will inevitably need to hire independent contractors or employees abroad. The difference in contracts, benefits, and expectations between employees and contract workers is significant. However, there has been an enormous increase in recent years in intentional and unintentional misclassification of workers.
Misclassifying employees as contractors can be found in every sector of the economy, indicating how pervasive this issue is. As the hiring company sees to greatly benefit financially from this seemingly innocent misclassification, it is no surprise that in the U.S. alone there are more than 3.4 million employees who are wrongfully classified as independent contractors.
Though most companies believe they can get away with doing this – and hundreds of companies around the world do – this illegal offense can be a costly mistake, even criminal.
Fines and penalties for misclassification protect the workers’ wages, statutory entitlements, and other employee-type benefits like health insurance coverage, overtime pay, and retirement benefits. Even companies who unintentionally misclassify their workers can face criminal punishment, businesses looking to by-pass these legal requirements should think very carefully.
As for growing internationally, the destination which you decide for your new business hub should be an area in which you and/or your family foresee the potential for a longer-term stay. Committing to an area that is financially and personally viable will be a much more rewarding experience for you and your loved ones. Though moving to a new country can be stressful, there are ways to make your transition as smooth as possible.
Contacting an immigration law firm, especially one that helps with employment-based transitions, will be able to guide you through your immigration journey. And, as immigration specialists at Lightman Law Firm may warn you, this can be a lengthy process. With work visa requirements, what may feel like endless documentation procedures, as well as your urgent business concerns, it is advisable to hand over these stresses to professionals whose expertise lies in immigration. The goal is to allow you to focus on the business operations of your expansion.
With time to come, growing your business internationally will become synonymous with expanding your company’s partners, onboarding more team members, and optimizing your brand strategy. Expansion means embracing a bigger vision, and more space to explore international opportunities that you may not even have had in your country of origin.
Business leadership will become a great part of your new venture in company expansion. Teams and employees across countries and cultures are likely to significantly influence your executive management plan. Over the transitional period, it will be crucial for your company directors and managers to improve communication, monitor employee satisfaction, manage workers’ expectations, and crisis or problem-solving. Plus, with the potential for remote teams to form part of your business model, leadership will have to ensure continued productivity.
Communicating change to your staff and dealing with unforeseen issues that arise, your executive team will have to remain focused, dedicated, and adaptive. The benefits of international expansion are innumerable, but the risks need to be managed constantly.
It is wise to outsource legal, personal, and executive assistance during this process, so as to avoid burnout from management and disconnect between your growing company districts. With sufficient expertise, international expansion can be life-changing. You may live out a brand vision that could solidify its legacy – for generations to come.
If it seems that the time is not 100% right for your company to expand at this moment, explore your options in the meantime. Continue learning about the various processes around the different countries you may be considering, and stay open-minded to the potential for your destination to change. Only through adaptive thinking can our business truly evolve and expand!