Have you ever explored the idea of creating a business in another country? If not, you should think about this in depth.
While reading the June 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine, I found a very interesting article about an African American woman from Georgia who moved to South Africa and now owns a multi-million dollar haircare company there. The article also highlights an African American man who moved there from Detroit and now owns a very successful pharmaceutical company.
How Did They Manage To Do This?
It's simple. Contrary to America, the haircare and pharmaceutical industries in Africa are not as crowded and the competitive field is wide open. These individuals simply decided to moved there, and jump on the opportunity.
Interestingly enough, there are many easy opportunities like this in various countries.
But Isn't The United States The Best Country to Live and Do Business In?
It's true that the American dollar is the strongest currency in the world, but that's exactly why you should want to go global. In many countries, starting a business with your American dollars will reduce your costs from 35% - 80%. Remember that $100 in US currency could be valued at $1,000 or more in another country.
Also, keep in mind that the United States is greatly saturated with businesses, and therefore very competitive. So why fight over the same customers? With only about 300 million people living in the States, that leaves more than 6.7 billion people on this planet living in another country. That's a ton of potential customers for you outside of this country!
But I Don't Know Any Foreign Languages. Won't This Be An Issue?
This may be an issue in some countries, but English is a very widely used language around the world. Many nations in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Central and South America use English as a first or second language.
What Countries Should I Consider?
You should look at developing countries such as the Philippines, South Africa, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Belize, etc. Because of their currency and other factors, these nations have plenty of affordable and less competitive business ideas to pursue.
If you don't want to be too far away from home, keep in mind that the United States is within a 3-hour flight from many Central American and South American countries. Close ones include Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and more. There are also the Caribbean islands and Bermuda.
But What About Diseases and Crime in Other Countries?
I find that most claims about health issues and crime are greatly exaggerated. Get the facts from a reputable source such as CDC.gov (the Center for Disease Control and Prevention), not a friend who heard something from another friend. Granted, there are some precautions to take when visiting and/or doing business in other countries. However, keep in mind that you already live and work in a country with major problems. People are murdered everyday in many American cities, and others die due to lack of health care.
How Do I Get Started?
Start off by visiting the country of your choice. Make it a work vacation. While there, do thorough research and visit the local chamber of commerce. Learn about their government requirements, get a hold of local business publications, and see what opportunities you can find. Remember that most countries will welcome you to build a business there, as this will help their local economies.
- Dante Lee is a marketing guru, a PR maven, and an award-winning business coach.