Are you an International Entrepreneur?
Think you got what it takes to be a global business person? Ready to deal with multiple currencies, multiple countries and cultures? Can you take the heat and accept the challenge of being an international entrepreneur.
Let’s go into some of the pros and cons of going global in your entrepreneurship pursuits.
Going Global Is No Longer a Choice
Going international was a lot of times an afterthought for a lot of American companies. Focus on the US market first, get big and established and then go overseas.
WE need to think and go global from the get go. The internet and all these communication tools and apps distribute information globally from the second they are put online.
This is both a blessing and a curse at the same time. We need to be ready to fend off new competitors in local markets, deal with customers in a wide range of languages, and brand our business globally at the start.
With great power, comes great responsibility.
I love this game, and you gotta have that kind of attitude. To be ready for anything. International business never sleeps, and you need people on your time covering the globe as early in the game as possible.
What is an International Entrepreneur?
Really most of us who are an entrepreneur are international from the get go nowadays. We get a new product idea, we hop onto Alibaba or Global Sources and search for suppliers. We are based in our parent’s basement in Oregon, we have a marketing partner in Manhattan, there is a Canadian distributor asking for more information right away – and some Dutch businessmen are asking for an exclusive.
We hop on skype, do a call, have a bank account in Hong Kong, and then hire an admin in Philippines. We live on the internet, we work on the internet.
At the end of the day, we fold up our laptop and pack our bag. Head down to San Francisco for a pitch event, find a new business partner, and get some investor leads. Maybe we should use Mexico for assembly?
Life is so dynamic and multidimensional. And it is no longer a choice even. We must do all these “crazy” things now to stay ahead of the competition.
Sound fun? You’re already doing this? Am I missing something – there is no other choice!
What You Need to Be An International Entrepreneur
An open mind.
Americans, we are known to be thick headed and in-flexible. We can’t be like that anymore – not with the global economy flattening the playing field. Other economies are catching up – and Americans need to learn to “play nice” with all kinds of cultures and players in the market.
That all starts with keeping your mind open to new opportunities and new business deals.
Sure, you may have the next killer app or next Kickstarter wonder – but without partners in various markets, we will be running around on 1 leg with our eyes half closed.
And partners don’t mean equity partners. You can have strategic alliances. Make these people feel like they are invested in your success. Not just a cheap outsourcing center or low cost labor manufacturing center. Visit them, respect their business and their culture. Understand their family and friend network. Bring a small gift from your hometown and explain the meaning behind it.
It doesn’t take a lot of money, heck, you’re saving money and multiplying your returns. Invest in your teams overseas, listen to them, and you will reap massive rewards.
So to succeed as an international entrepreneur – you need to love to learn. To learn about people. About cultures. About different ways of doing business.
Are you ready? Just do it!
So many people become intimidated to start their own business. It all starts out with an idea, a dream, and making it happen. Each day, take at least one step forward.
But as an international entrepreneur, the world is your oyster. DOn’t just treat those Skype chats with your Alibaba factory sales rep as a low cost factory worker – but as a potential long term partner in your global empire. Same goes for your Cebu based call center rep, care about her family and ask about the food she likes to eat.
Its these small caring that will propel your global business.
Good luck, and if you’d like to connect with other global entrepreneurs doing big things, check out our Global From Asia member’s club.