Many business owners dream of taking their business globally. While that seems a distant reality for some, the internet, social media and online communities have reduced thousands of kilometres to mere megabytes of data. Whether through export, digital networks or intermediary services, with the appropriate mindset, the world can be your oyster:
Export is the simplest way of getting across the Atlantic. From April 2018 to March 2019, South Africa exported approximately R90 billion in material goods globally, with our largest export destination being the United States of America swallowing an enormous $7.350Bn of our produces. The following two export markets are Germany and
South Africa’s largest exports remain commodities, but government’s prerogative is to extend exports in textiles through partnerships with China. Another priority point of Food Products, in particular fruit, which is exported to SADC countries providing easier growth opportunities for small businesses to expand in international relations.
One of the biggest challenge’s businesses face today is maintaining status quo in a world of consistent innovation. Constant technological advances paired with the nonlocality of service providers creates world ripe for disruption. Local technology start-ups such as Yoco, iPay, Jumo & Luno collectively serve over 20 international markets.
Whether finance, publishing, market research or ordering your latest widget on Amazon, internet intermediaries assist in a variety of ways. Internet intermediaries facilitate third-party transactions on the internet. These transactions are nonlocal in nature; local companies such as Planet54.com provide intermediary services to patrons in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan.
It’s not all sunshine and blue skies however, some potholes you will need to avoid on your way to being global success story:
- Language barriers
- Tax, legal and compliance issues
- Societal & cultural differences
- Locally established competitors
- No “locus of control”
Sure, it does seem daunting. However, if you can weather the storm, partner with the right local and international partners including government, and avoid the cultural pitfalls which snare many market participants – then the world indeed shall be your oyster.