By Terrel Transtrum, Founder of LaunchSmart™
International markets are tricky. The global frontiers afford fertile opportunities for companies that are forward-thinking and who will pay the price of preparation. A strong, well-formed international network marketing growth plan will dramatically increase your success rate; the long-range risks and opportunities are far too great to not properly plan. “A step at a time” is the appropriate mantra, and for most companies it is important to first develop a working model in the United States or country of origin.
Mastering the marketing plan, establishing the operations and service infrastructure, refining product formulations and service delivery systems, and refining support technology are best accomplished in a central location, followed by duplication and adaptation in foreign markets as the core operation gains strength and stability. Importantly, distributors who first focus their efforts in one market are categorically more effective and successful than those jet-setters who need a reason to travel the globe but who never settle down long enough to build anything lasting.
Conventional wisdom is to progress from the United States to Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, Mexico and South America, Pacific Rim, China. Many believe that the Internet has made international expansion an instantaneous business. Be careful since the legal and business requirements of going international have not kept up with the Internet and technology.
In this article we will cover the following international planning elements, combining the considerations that are common at both the basic and the advanced levels.
International Planning Checklist & Key Considerations
- Corporate and foreign lawyers with expertise in direct selling
- Seek to create continuity throughout the world-wide system that you put in place
- Trademarks and servicemarks
- Consumer legislation and variations from country to country
- Earnings claims and presenting the offering
- FDA issues varying widely from country to country
- Product compliance, manufacturing, and ingredient standards
- Intellectual property (patents, software licenses, etc.)
- Immigration when sending key employees
- Language restrictions for labeling and literature
- Banking and movement of monies into and out of countries
- International sponsoring, qualifications, seamless
- Customs and tariffs, transfer pricing
- Taxation, subsidies, value-added taxes
- Corporate form, local residence, independent contractors vs employees
- Manufacturing and supply agreements; local production; trade secrets & formulations
- Marketing literature, distributor agreements, buy-back policies
- Advertising, claim testing, market reception, brand development
- Antitrust and trade regulations, restrictions on pricing, relationships with suppliers
International Plan: Basics
The world is getting smaller all the time. This international plan presents the checklist of marketing, legal, tax, and unique considerations for entering foreign markets. Whether your company chooses international licensing and exclusive supply arrangements, joint venturing with local in-country partners, or establishing your own presence in foreign countries, this tool will help you gain a much faster advantage than learning it the hard way.
International Plan: Advanced
A substantial, advanced planning tool for the serious executive, this 1,000 – point checklist combines essential details with key international contacts developed and nurtured since 1988.
Terrel Transtrum is the founder of ServiceQuest® and co-founder of LaunchSmart™. As a network marketing consultant he also specializes in startup consulting for party plan companies, multilevel marketing, MLM and network marketing. He is an experienced advisor in MLM software, network marketing legal, party plan business, distributor recruiting and retention, operations and fulfillment and MLM legal.
(The content of this article is extracted from ServiceQuest® RetentionSmarts™ Modules. For more information on RetentionSmarts™ training and mentoring systems, contact a member of the LaunchSmart Team.)