Starting up a business abroad is one of the most remarkable feats one can accomplish in 2022. It has loads of advantages both financially and helping expand your business to a global market. Some of the countries you should expand your business to are the US, UK, and Germany because of the stability of their economies and their currencies, the presence of infrastructure, and the remarkable ease of doing business index. Another country to observe closely is Hong Kong.
This is because the country is autonomous in most areas and is recognized worldwide as a thriving business center. You can trust the economic and political environment in Hong Kong. When it comes to business, they have excellent infrastructure, a working legal system, and are business-friendly. Starting a business in another country looks all rosy until you consider that there may be challenges to having a global company that you have not prepared for. These differences will impact your brand, and the only way to win is to get ahead of the problem. Some of the challenges you may face when you have a global business are listed below.
- The Language Barrier: When you start a business in another country, you want to consider the languages spoken. For example, in Hong Kong, they speak Cantonese. You will need an interpreter and a native speaker to consult. Hong Kong business guides can help you outline all the changes you are likely to encounter if you decide to open a company in Hong Kong. Translating your product or service messaging will be a smart move. You will have to invest heavily in an interpreter for seamless communication among your team members in other countries and those based in Hong Kong.
- Cultural differences: Every country has different languages and different cultures. The differences cut across lifestyles, customs, tradition, art, food, and social norms. You will find acceptance quickly if you learn the cultures and norms of the country in which you are doing business. When you act in a culturally acceptable way to a Japanese or a Hong Kong resident, you communicate respect and emotional intelligence, both of which are required when conducting business on foreign soil. For example, in Japan, they bow 45 degrees to show respect and take off their shoes before entering someone’s house. It is a thing of amusement that they slurp when they eat their noodles, and it is appropriate. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, small talk and friendly greetings are uncommon. You can stand close in conversation, but you must not make contact. You are not permitted to hug, kiss, or wink; if you are dealing with an older person or someone in authority, resist the urge to pat them on the back; this is improper. There are more cultural differences in the Hong Kong business guides.
- Managing Global Teams: Another challenge you face in incorporating a business in another country is that you now manage employees who live all over the world. While it makes your team diverse, it creates unique challenges that require solutions. For one, the time zone will be very different, and you will need to depend on technology and the connection it can provide. You will work doubly harder to develop a strong relationship with your team and fix times to check in using a video conferencing platform to aid real-time interaction. According to Gallup, team members who check in with their line managers are more likely to be engaged at work than those who do not. The Human Resources team should do an excellent job of maintaining healthy communication and keeping everyone feeling valued and engaged.
- Currency Exchanges and Inflation Rates: Another factor that needs to be watched is the dollar’s value in the country where you have incorporated your business. To protect your investment, you should daily acquaint yourself with the dollar’s value in your country of choice. Exchange rates will fluctuate. Watch inflation rates as this can impact material and labor costs. Inflation will vary across different countries. When you closely understand and follow inflation rates, you can make decisions to save money and have valid information on hand to defend your actions.
- Nuances of Foreign Politics, Policy, and Relations: Business is affected by politics and policies in a country. You should be on top of the news related to the countries in which you do business. Leaders, prime ministers, and parliaments often affect taxes, labor laws, and the cost of raw materials in their country. The government and its policies control transport, infrastructure, education, and other sectors in a country. Be in the know as it concerns international politics, policies, and relations. All three will affect your business. Getting knowledge will help you make strategic decisions to benefit your company.
All of the five challenges listed above are important in your company’s decision-making. One remarkable feature of Hong Kong is that you can own 100 percent of the ownership rights in a company incorporated and based in Hong Kong as a foreigner. The laws do not impose local residency requirements. Sometimes the laws are favorable, and sometimes not. Subscribing to Hong Kong business guides will help you keep abreast of current information./