Of course, long before you're flying around 800 folks across the globe for a staff retreat, you have to begin by selecting your first spot. You might not want the retreat to be in the home office’s city. If you're already selling internationally via an e-commerce site, you could study those metrics to gauge geographic interest.
But don't stop looking there. Industry-specific trade associations do plenty of research and can aid businesses by tapping into big databases to see where demand is falling and growing. You can also look at global trends beyond your industry, such as the rise in middle-class wealth and consumerism in some markets such as China.
When are you going global?
Being smart enough to pump the brakes
That pull and hesitation to go global is something most entrepreneurs will wrestle with. And some will decide that it's just not worth it.
Every week you might field the question from an investor or employee or even customer: 'When are you going to go global?' There's great pressure to do it. But the conversation will be a hot topic with your peers. The vast majority of them who have expanded globally say they regret it. Even if you're flourishing, going global can take your attention away from untapped domestic growth.
So, while companies have some of the hassles of having a global workforce already worked out, there is still uncertainty about whether or not global customers are a big priority.
Don’t forget that you may have to double down on your marketing and sales budget, and train employees on the outs and ins of a new country's tax code and compliance requirements -- while still trying to nurture your U.S. market.
Going global sounds good and is sexy, but is it necessary? You could build a $1 billion business in the U.S., and you don't want to distract your staff from that goal. So, your answer to going global could be “not right now. “