Adapting to a new market is never easy, but expanding a business internationally comes with its own set of hurdles and many regulatory challenges. You have to meet national standards in regards to tax payments and social security benefits for your talent, while also thinking about managing potential cultural differences and remote communication. We’ll walk you through the most pressing challenges when expanding internationally.

Everyone wants a piece of the global cake

In an increasingly global world, many entrepreneurs are not simply focusing on their home market anymore. Business owners are thinking big and outside national borders, to maximise their success and open their company up to the opportunities of international growth. And rightfully so! Especially when moving to the digital space, there is no need for artificial virtual borders to hold you back. 

However, if you are looking to have sustainable growth and international success, you have to think about the challenges in front of you. To build a functioning global business, you have to be aware of the potential hurdles on your path and how to overcome them.

The challenges of international expansion

A lot of people tend to focus on how to establish a new business in a foreign market and to promote their services or products to this new audience. But they are getting ahead of themselves. First and foremost, you should be thinking about compliance and how to attract the right talent in your new international market. 

1. Finding the right talent

If you want to branch into a new market, you need the right talent to help you build this new site of your business. But finding the right people can quickly become a huge challenge, as hiring processes vary greatly from country to country. On top of that, knowing where to post job offers and advertise for new positions might be an additional hurdle, as you might not be aware of the right websites and forums to use for this particular market.

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2. Compliance with local law and tax regulations

Right up there on the list of important things to keep in mind when expanding internationally is making sure that you comply with local laws and regulations. This can be in regard to hiring talent and paying tax on their wages as well as potential social benefits but also relating to your actual office space, work safety regulations, and other requirements you might not be familiar with. 

3. Managing global payments

Once you have found your new international talent, setting up a proper payroll system that allows you to easily exchange currencies and schedule payments to a variety of bank accounts is crucial. You have to make sure your employees are paid on time and also in their local currency, without losing too much on expensive exchange rates and fees for international transfers. 

4. HR and benefit management

This goes hand in hand with setting up an international payroll. Depending on the country you want to expand to – or hire talent from – there might be different requirements regarding the payment of benefits and bonuses. So be sure to check on these local regulations and include them in your business case before launching your company’s expansion.

Furthermore, topics like contracts, NDAs, and onboarding need to be discussed with your human resources department to ensure any and all legal requirements for new employees are met.

5. Intercultural communication and team management

Finally, you should be aware of the challenge of intercultural communication and talent as well as team management for remote workers. Having a good company culture that motivates, supports and resonates with its team members can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction and performance. But to achieve this, you need to be aware of potential roadblocks and cultural sensitivities – and come up with communication solutions for these scenarios.