Do's & Dont's of international entrepreneurship
Are you an SME owner and do you think you are going to cross the border with your company? International entrepreneurship can bring many benefits. However, it is a big step that needs to be properly prepared. Each country has, of course, other rules, laws and norms. Your approach depends on the country you want to collaborate with. However, there are certainly some basic rules that can help you a whole lot on your way. Are you interested in this? Then be sure to read this article with important do's & dont's of international entrepreneurship.
● Do a thorough research on the market: analyse the differences with the Belgian market, adjust your strategy here. Also check out who the important players in your industry are and what strategy they use. It is also important that you make an analysis of the expectations of how the market or your sector will develop in the coming years. Also look at whether there is a "hole in the market" for your product, are they really waiting for it? Furthermore, it is also never bad to delve into emerging markets such as the BRICS, N-11 or CIVETS. See what options you have here.
● Make sure you are aware of all the laws and regulations: Would you like to take up business in another EU country? Please check the EU regulations. Do you want to go outside the EU? Make sure you are well aware of the rules of this country, or spend it on someone who understands this.
● Get the necessary expertise: collaborate with a specialized, preferably local, partner who can help you on your way in the new country.  Various forms of cooperation can be conceived: agency, distribution or joint venture/eg. Let yourself be legally informed about this.
● Protect your intellectual property: Intellectual property legislation varies by country, so it is important that you enter into a partnership with a partner with the necessary legal expertise to request and/or protect your patents and Trademarks.
● Focus not only on the most inexpensive deals: besides a good price, quality is also always important. In international business, you also have to take into account issues such as child labour, environmental and human rights. There are directives such as those of the OECD, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the UN guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
● Does not cling to the Belgian culture: do not assume that the Belgian manners and customs also apply in the other country. Do research on the culture and let yourself be informed by an expert. The right greeting, dress code, time usage or meeting culture can really mean the key to success in international business. So, in short, deepen your country.
● Do not forget the logistics: there is a lot of looking at arranging the logistics, so don't forget to count on the cost and investment picture. Also, remember which means of transport you can use best and what the effect of this is on your stock.
● Use a company or product name that does not work abroad: it may sound like crap, but it is really important to think about your company or product name in relation to the new country you are going to undertake. See if it would work here and whether it will not call negative connotations. The same applies to your Logo: How is the color, image, or symbol interpreted in another country?
● Remember to keep an eye on the sail: don't think that once it's all arranged, you can sit back and relax. Even then you must stay in touch with your people on the spot. This is important for control, but also to show your involvement. And nowadays this can be happily easy via email, phone or video conferencing.