Ready to take the business to the international arena? Congrats. Don’t know where to start? With networking, of course!
Regardless of the product or service the company offers, networking will help spread the word about it, even in the other countries. Traveling abroad to meet with potential clients or vendors is a great idea, however, it may get pricey to physically travel to each and every country of interest. It is also time-consuming and honestly, there is no need to travel anymore with the technology and opportunities which are currently presented in the business world. There are ways to network with the world from the comfort of your own office.
- Join an international business networking groups.
This is a vast subject. Luckily, we have a whole separate article summarizing top international networking groups. Some of them require an enrollment fee, but it is still cheaper than traveling yourself and offers you more targeted exposure. A large variety of narrow niche and general groups are available.
- Attend an industry conference.
If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed. Allow the key industry people, suppliers or buyers from all over the world assemble in one place and that’s where you will have easy access to everyone. Make sure to have your 100AM app handy, to know who is attending, save contact info and even use it as a conversation starter.
- LinkedIn and similar portals.
The world is small when it comes to a business relationship. Check your immediate network and see who can introduce you to an international company. Direct and indirect referrals are the best tool for gaining someone’s trust. Also, good old reaching out to people of interest still takes place. Being introduced is great, but don’t let the lack of contacts stop you. This option works well for small business or for a new company, but don’t disregard it even if you have a larger networking budget.
- Use your travel for international business networking.
If you do end up going somewhere on business or leisure, you may consider, for example, using a logo of your company on your luggage tag or your shirt. This can create great conversations with people at the airport, taxi or hotel and lead to new opportunities. Don’t forget your e-business cards too.
As you can see, it is easy to get really creative, when it comes to taking business networking to international markets. Many options are available, all you need is to set a plan and keep at it. Good luck 😊!