Working from home has many benefits, but if your business succeeds and you want to take it international, you face a number of sticking points.
The first is the most obvious. You work from your home and have no ties overseas, or permanent addresses other than your current one. It is therefore difficult to claim that your business has a presence in different countries.
Another major hurdle you will have to overcome if you want to take your home business international is that, although your website will be available around the world, you may not be able to offer relevant products to different demographics or even know how to market to them.
This is not to say taking your business international is impossible. Far from it. Here is how to take your home business overseas without leaving your couch:
You do not need to rent an office to have an overseas presence
One of the most significant problems online businesses have to overcome when they try and go international is how to establish a concrete address in a certain country. Even if you have a friend or family member in this country, it is not ideal if you have to manage a high quantity of postage every day, nor is it very professional.
One solution to this problem is to rent a virtual mailbox. These are mailboxes located in mail centers around the world. These work in partnership with a number of international courier services, which allows you to provide a reliable and professional delivery for your customers, as well as reduce administration and postage costs.
There are many countries to choose from, allowing you to seamlessly create an international brand, without leaving your home. You can find virtual mailboxes at iPostal1.
Perception is everything – create a dedicated workspace
If you want to position your brand as an international business, it is unwise to host work calls against a scruffy, homely backdrop. This will shatter the image you have worked hard to build up, and your customers will naturally ask questions about how professional a business you really are.
It is also a good idea to dress smartly, and create a dedicated workspace you use every day. This is not only beneficial for PR reasons, but it can make you more productive, too. Once the brain recognizes a certain desk or area of a room as a workstation, it gradually learns to become more focused whenever you work there.
It is why many enterprises, schools and armies have mandatory uniform rules. It encourages people to associate the uniform with discipline and work. If you apply this technique to your daily routine, it could transform your productivity and professionalism.
Learn to market to different audiences
A vital skill to learn if you are going to take your home-based business overseas is how to market your business to a new audience. You may have found it relatively easy to position your brand in your own country, because you have a natural understanding of what appeals to your own culture, but other cultures may have different tastes and requirements.
It is therefore worthwhile to spend time researching (and visiting, if possible), the countries you are aiming to sell to. It may spark new ideas about products specifically intended for this new customer base, or a service demand you have not encountered in your domestic customer base.
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