When you’re growing a global business across international borders, there are several considerations that quickly become more complicated than the ones domestic businesses face. From logistics such as conference calls, shipping and payroll to trying to build a cohesive company culture that’s also tailored to local expectations, there is no shortage of challenges.
The good news is that there are more tools than ever before to manage a global business seamlessly. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Meetings and messages
Zoom is a video collaboration tool that makes it possible to host and attend meetings from any location, whether two people or two hundred are joining. Its intuitive, cloud-based interface makes it easy to schedule, record, and share meetings with teammates or clients from anywhere in the world.
Looking for a platform for one-to-one messages instead of meetings? Check out Bomb Bomb. It’s common for things to get “lost in translation” when communications take place over email or text, especially when you’re talking about different cultures, languages, and offices. Using personalized video messages especially for sensitive or hard-to-understand subjects is a great way to make remote teams feel more connected.
Another great tool to lighten the load on your team’s inboxes is to communicate through a tool like Slack, where you can set up dedicated channels for teams, projects, and offices to ensure people see only the messages they need to see. You can also search for items when necessary and it’s much easier than going through emails!
To eliminate the back-and-forth hassle of scheduling meetings, adopt a simple, streamlined calendar tool like Calendly. Calendly is a favorite because it automatically displays when people are free in the appropriate time zones for each attendee. Scheduling and event invites are automatic, too, minimizing the need to go back and forth.
If you’re concerned about too many tools that aren’t integrated with each other and the security headaches of having to monitor disparate tools, Microsoft’s online Office packages for small businesses also provide much of the functionality above, with video meetings, chatting, and calendars integrated into Microsoft Teams. With cloud centers all over the world, your team also has the benefit of having reliable access to the tools, wherever they are.
2. Project management
Employee communication isn’t the only thing that can quickly spiral out of control as your company grows: project management is a frequent pain point, too. Asana is the preferred project-management tool for millions of small and medium-sized businesses around the world because it’s simple. It’s also intuitive and integrates well with just about any tool or app you can think of, including all those mentioned in this article.
3. Shipping and logistics
Logistics and shipping are two of the biggest headaches growing companies face because they’re incredibly complex and vary by market. It’s critical to get a strong partner in place upfront who can help you as your business evolves and grows.
If you anticipate expanding into lots of markets, DHL is likely a great fit. DHL offers freight, parcel, and air shipping to most of the world’s countries, and its logistics information is world-class. Best of all, their small-business solutions team can help with tricky considerations like tariffs, export requirements, and customs.
Secure a representative before you think you need one and focus on nurturing that relationship so that it’s easy to pick up the phone and call for help when you need it.
4. Register the domains you need
When you’re expanding into several markets simultaneously, you don’t want to have to depend on the TLD (or top-level domain) of each country being available when you need it. Register a .GLOBAL domain, rather than complicating URLs by adding extra words to your company name by country (for example, YourBrandItaly.it, or YourBrandRussia.ru).
A domain like YourBrand.global will give you a centralized, easy-to-remember URL that you can use no matter how many new markets you expand into. It’s a quick, simple way to streamline your marketing efforts and future-proof your brand.
Global business solutions for international and remote working
There are countless other tools to streamline managing your global workforce, regardless of how many time zones (or even continents!), you’re scattered across. Here’s a list of a few more of our favorite resources for small- and medium-sized businesses. Looking for even more tips? Here are five more great ways to make a remote workforce work for you.