You’ve already recognized the value of a global market for your company, especially considering that even a global giant like Apple does 65% of their business overseas, but you might be staring up at the mountain wondering how you’ll ever climb it. Well, here are six tools that will help make that mountain look more like a hill. So get started and make the most of your time with these tools and services that have you and your company in mind.
Gengo – Even though English is pretty common language in the international community, that’s not always true of the consumer. You want your website, product descriptions, ad copy and all other communication to have the proper tone of a native speaker. A service like Gengo, with a staff of 14,000 translators in 36 languages, will translate any document you send them. They even have a public feedback system so you can choose the best option for you.
Export.gov – if you’re going to be exporting your products internationally, you’ll definitely want to spend some time on Export.gov. This is a government run website that gives any U.S. business owner all the information they need regarding tariffs, licences, regulations and even economic sanctions so you don’t accidentally violate any laws.
Video and Messaging – Whether you are keeping in touch with a newly installed local branch, checking in with a supplier or simply maintaining the lines of communication as open as possible to compensate for the inherent distance of international business, you’ll want to use Skype and Whatsapp. Skype, if you’re somehow unfamiliar, is the video chat service that can also service as an extra phone line. Face-to-face conversations are best replicated via video chat.
When video chat isn’t possible or practical, there is Whatsapp. Think of it like an international text messaging app, without any fees or data rates. You can communicate with text, images or even video (though not live streaming, as with Skype.)
Scheduling – One of the more difficult aspects of a global business comes from the time zone discrepancies. Depending on the exact location, you may have completely opposite schedules are your international customers or business partners. Middle of the night communication might be okay in an emergency, but ultimately you’ll need a means of communication that takes everyone’s schedule into account.
Boomerang is a message scheduler that will allow you to send a message while you’re thinking of it, but will delay it’s delivery until a time of your choosing. It’s a great tool for ensuring the important thoughts don’t get put off and forgotten without also waking anyone up in the process.
Sometimes, you both still have to be awake at the same time for meetings. Enter World Meeting Time. It works like an international digital secretary. One member can suggest a meeting time to all the participants, and once everyone agrees, world meeting time will send an email to everyone regarding the scheduled meeting time.