It has become a sign of success when your startup opens its first office overseas. But the difference between crushing it and getting crushed across the ocean is knowing when you're ready to make the move.
Besides time zones, there are lots of potholes on the entrepreneurial path to global domination. Consider the legal paperwork to register the business overseas and review the company's contracts for compliance. The hassle and hoops of setting up a foreign bank account to pay local employees.
The anxiety of scouting talent in a new market. The startup costs of buying space and hiring employees and traveling between countries. Don’t forget about finding customers in a place where your brand has no name recognition.
Committing to the culture
For a company such as MuleSoft, one of the executives stated that opening the 2nd global office was certainly way simpler than the first, but you can't think you're going to walk in and sell the same way you do in the US. In Germany and France, you can't do business without native speakers. In Japan, it's all about displaying the partners you have.
A local office in a foreign market doesn't just make it simpler to do business. It's also a signal to those customers that you mean business. Opening an office is a show of devotion to a market and that can really help culturally.
Even though you've been knocked to the bottom of the ladder, get back up and keep climbing.
The hugest mistake businesses make is not being persistent enough. There will be lessons and mistakes learned and discouraging days, but you can't look at those with the same parameters for success you might use in the US market It's similar to beginning from scratch. While it’s sort of exciting to start over, it's also a challenge. You've been smacked off the top rung of the ladder, and now you have to climb back up from the ground floor.