Local laws and regulations differ, but often are much more stringent than employment laws in the U.S. especially when it comes to letting someone go, whether due to business reasons, or for cause.

You might say it’s the classic question of “control” versus “risk”. While many more companies are ‘born international’ in today’s economy, most companies still work through the lifecycle of ‘going international’. On average annually, 15% of exporters will stop exporting, while 10% of non-exporters will begin. Companies more or less advance along stages until they reach a level right for their capabilities or product (or stop), with the most critical junctures: beginning or stopping exporting.

As noted above, you need to be careful choosing any partner, whether distributor or employee. It may be tempting to hire right away, with the thought that you will have more ‘control’ than you might with a distributor relationship (for example). However, the risks can be similar, and severing the relationship can be even more costly, so be sure it’s really what you need before taking that step. There are four key factors to consider in making your decision:
• Degree of standardization in product offerings
• Marketing program beyond the product
• Location and extent of value added activities
• Competitive scenarios
Finding a balance will be critical to your success.