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Small Business Ideas for Going International

Small Business Ideas for Going International

    Congratulations – you’ve taken the plunge and launched your own small business in a difficult economy. Since you’re a Lifehack reader, it’s likely that your business has an online element – an ecommerce website, social media presence, etc. It’s also likely that your web presence is English language only, and you only receive patronage from English-speaking customers.

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    But why? Only 27% of all web users speak English – that means you’re missing out on nigh-on three-quarters of your potential online audience. In fact, no matter what sector you’re in, you’ll find it easier to rank on search engines in languages other than English, because there’s comparatively far less content and search engine competition.

    It may seem daunting to think about exporting your products or services to countries where you don’t speak the native language, but in fact it’s a relatively easy process to test the waters in foreign markets with micro-sites – and thanks to tools like Google Translate and others that we’ll come to later, it’s also inexpensive. It’s a relatively simple five-step process to take your small business ideas out to the world.

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    1) Brainstorm markets

    Your first step into international export is to use your knowledge of the global economy and world cultures to brainstorm countries where you think there may be a gap for your product. Let’s say you’re a designer of indie video games. You know that emerging markets like China and South Korea have rapidly growing economies, and you also know that culturally they’re very fond of technology and gaming – so it’s probably worth looking at launching a micro-site for those two countries!

    2) Google Global Market Finder

    This handy tool, Google’s  Global Market Finder, can help you test your theories. Brainstorm your list of English keywords (for instance, ‘videogames’) and select your region to test the traffic for its local equivalents. With the example above, it turns out that the markets with the highest search volumes for ‘videogames’, or the translated equivalent, are India, Japan and the Philippines – interesting…

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    3) Translate your micro-sites

    Now you know which markets to target, your next step is to create your micro-sites (around five pages is average), get your content translated and localized (which means paying attention to local references, measurements, currencies, etc) and launch it – preferably on a local domain hosted in-country, or otherwise on a subdomain off your main site (you can always shift it to a local server later).

    4) Optimize

    But make sure before you launch that your website is optimized with your top keywords, which you will have decided upon by brainstorming, researching your local competitors, translating your English key terms and researching all of these using Google’s keyword tools.

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    5) Promote

    Last, but not least, spread the word, by content marketing to relevant local websites (and building links), putting out press releases, and establishing your local social media presence (a foreign language Twitter account is a great way to quickly make a splash, but that’s a topic for another blog).

    To turn your cottage industry into an international exporter, the steps are simple but the rewards are many – remember, on the internet no one knows your company is just one guy and a dog.

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

    Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

    Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

    I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

    The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

    People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

    I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

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    “What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
    “What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
    “What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
    “What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

    After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

    One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

    If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

    Everything takes energy

    Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

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    Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

    The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

    Find something that is worth doing

    Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

    When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

    I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

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    When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

    It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

    Other excuses I often hear are:

    “But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
    “I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
    “At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
    “Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

    I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

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    I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

    Conclusion

    Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

    Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

    Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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