Companies considering moving into an international market are often focused on the revenue and profit associated with such a move. But what are some of the intangibles to putting together an international strategy?

Consider the impact on the employees. Everyone wants to be associated with a company that’s going places. What better than to work for a company that is selling in countries through out the world. It’s a great boost for morale and employee self confidence.

My experience is that companies that are international have a much better chance of discovering new opportunities that weren’t a part of the original export plan. The saying that one thing leads to another is a trueism when a company is selling its products internationally.

The company itself will benefit from being associated with selling internationally. Vendors will view it differently, banks will often be more willing to partner with a company that has true international business and it will be easier to hire top of the line employees when you can demonstrate an international sales presence.

So going international is much more than profit and growth, although both of those are the real motivation to expand into new markets around the world.

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It is all to common that an organizations international strategy is determined by the part of the world that contacts it first and sends an unsolicited purchase order. While we all like to take the orders and keep the cash flow going, be careful not to jump to quickly.

Every company needs a strategy. What’s the opportunity? Why is this country or region preferable to another one? How are you selling your products in that country? What are the shipping, legal, environmental and tax implications? All too often we take the path of least resistance rather than invest some time to determine the best opportunity and how to approach it. Be careful.