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5 Tips for Faster, Cheaper and More Successful Cross-Border Business

We all know that successfully growing a business is a journey, and very often you’ll want and need to work across borders.

Whether you’re using an international supplier, importing or exporting a product or receiving foreign investment, you need to give your business and your people the best chance of success as you ‘go global’.

Here are our top 5 tips:

1. Understand exactly who you’re doing business with.

Before committing, you need to do your homework.

  • What country are they located in?
  • Are they an incorporated entity?
  • Do they have deep pockets?
  • Who are the key individuals (and their roles) in that entity?

Afterall, the KEY is to KYC (know your customer/client/counterparty).

2. Work out how and where the contract is to be performed

To secure a decent ROI on cross border business, you need to get the basics right from the start.

  • Where is the origin and supply of the goods or services (and where is the destination)?
  • Which way does the money flow (and to where)?
  • What language and governing law should apply?

The devil is in the detail (or the small print).

3. Plan ahead and do your modelling.

From the get-go, protect your upside and mitigate your downside risk.

  • What does success from this deal look like for your business in 6, 12 and 18 months’ time?
  • If everything is going great, how can you ensure that your business continues to benefit?
  • If it all comes crashing down, what are you putting at risk (and what is your escape route)?

You know what they say: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

4. Resourcing and monitoring.

To protect your business when doing international work, you must have the right people, systems and processes in place.

  • What are your metrics for this cross-border business (and how will you measure them)?
  • Who do you need, why do you need them and where do you need their help?
  • Do you have the right corporate structure, documentation and systems in place?

Get clarity on your mission and metrics from the outset, and you are less likely to spend money in the wrong places.

5. Choose your advisers carefully.

Whether you need financial, compliance or legal advice, choose the right people to get the right results.

  • Can you tap into your network to get a recommended expert?
  • Are you and your advisers working towards the same timetable and on the same budget?
  • Is their area of expertise aligned with what you’re seeking to achieve?

Considering language, culture and connections is imperative to help you do business like a local.

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