As your company grows, you will probably have to make conclusions about traveling employees, and travel for yourself. There are vast opportunities internationally that require careful planning to execute well. One of the most critical decisions is how to enter a new country or region. Most companies early in to the process do not have the resources to place people on the ground in foreign countries, so they make new relationships with distributors or dealers to represent them in the new areas.
As you begin your travels into new territories away from home, it is always wise to have a host to greet you from arrival through departure in each country that is new to you. If you do not yet have any firm relationships in a country, develop some connection using your outreach channels before the first flight. Even if you are going to start a series of interviews, you can have one candidate meet you at the airport and another later return you to the airport. You should find this connection occurs automatically later as the relationships mature and you have either dealers or your own personnel within each territory.
[Email readers, continue here…] The customs, laws and even the knowledge of safety dos and don’ts are critical elements in assuring your safety and that of your traveling employees. It is also good business to learn local customs from locals. Having a local contact to provide information to your home and your work is a relief to all, including yourself.
Then there is the question of creation of a regional office to cover multiple countries in a geographic area. It is the next logical step toward creating corporate entities abroad. And the regional manager hired to oversee multiple countries can act as country manager for his or her home country, often volunteering to travel with you to the various countries in the region. That’s the best and safest choice for a next step toward becoming a true, international entity with offices in numerous countries as you grow.