Tips for conducting business across continents

Benoit Gruber

Cross continental business can thrive with best practice in place says Benoît Gruber of Sage Enterprise Market & Sage X3

Managing one location has it’s own challenges like keeping up with all of your departments including human resources, sales and marketing. Now, think about doing that, but all over the world where there are different time zones, cultures and expectations. Those of you that already run a multi-location enterprise know how difficult this can be. It might not be simple, but with the right frame of mind and the best practices in place, you’ll be able to grow and strengthen your cross-continental presence and allow your business to truly thrive. The following are some tips that will enable you to conduct your global business successfully.

Create relationships and ask for help

Whether an established global business or one that is looking to expand to new markets, firms don’t have the advantage of being everywhere at once to meet and connect with teams and customers. Business has to work hard to maintain relationships, so you should be setting up regular calls to access the tone and satisfaction of those employees at the location. Or even go the extra mile by being present for important events at different global offices or utilizing video calls for a more in-person feel.  If looking to expand in a location where the native language is not in your skillset, have a contact or service in place in order to spread awareness about your products and services.

Stay connected with the cloud

Keep your global business connected. With the development of modern business management solutions, it is easier than ever to stay connected with  teams all over the world. The right software will unite the workforce whether  in finance, distribution or manufacturing so that everyone is up-to-date on all processes. It will allow employees to access data anywhere, at any time making their working hours match up regardless of time zone. With cloud implementation you’ll be able to go wherever your business takes you by accessing it from different technologies, too. The right people will be given the right information in real time in order to spot anomalies and correct any discrepancies.

Do global business but act local

Conducting global business requires businesses to act like a local. Customs, traditions, and legal compliance vary across geographies. Be aware of the legal compliance needs and requirements in the locations you are conducting business in so you are able to continue doing business legally. By learning the area’s customs and traditions, you are able to relate with locals better and establish a positive reputation.

Communicate often and clearly

We all know that communication is key, but is your business taking that to heart when it comes to conducting business across continents? Take a minute to think about how often you have a conversation with your various teams and the way in which those discussions are orchestrated. Can it be improved? The business management solution should also allow the cultivateion and maintainance of productive communications with your global business. Another crucial part of the conversation is being able to use the right language. Barriers in language are detrimental to productivity and waste time, so it is important to be succinct so employees and customers can understand you. This is where language localisation will be a must for your cloud-based solution. Not only will you be able to clearly communicate with your team, but you’ll also be able to better service your international customers by avoiding miscommunications from suppliers or partners.

Remain flexible for growth

As a global business, the ability to maintain control over efficiencies—especially in terms of importing and exporting goods—is a must. Sales can be increased by utilising an interface that is intuitive regardless of language or device, and is flexible enough to track and make adjustments on the spot. The market in one location can change at any moment, and your business must be agile enough to adapt and change with it. This is where keeping an open dialogue with the location will help ensuring awareness of any structural changes that need to be made. It’s essential that global employees have mobile capabilities, and staying connected with cloud-based business management solutions can give you the flexibility you need to move forward.

Expanding to new markets and managing your global business is in your forte. For business leaders who currently conduct business across continents, you know the unique perspective gained by maintaining a presence around the world. As long as you create strong relationships, stay connected, communicate frequently, and remain flexible for growth, you’ll have everything you need to take control of your cross-continental business.

Benoît Gruber is the vice president of corporate communication for Sage Enterprise Market and Sage X3.