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Four Steps to Accelerate International Business Growth

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U.S. exports continue to grow, but many American companies lack the international business know-how to capitalize on this potential source of increased sales and profits. Proliferating trade agreements and a weakened U.S. dollar have resulted in one of the most favorable export markets in decades. Foreign importers of U.S. goods report an increasing demand for U.S. products--from popcorn to pet food. The U.S. has enjoyed 11 straight quarters of increasing exports--yet with 95 percent of the world's population residing outside of U.S. borders and an increasingly promising international sales outlook, experts are questioning why only 5 percent of U.S. companies are currently exporting. But how do we initiate and sustain growth in unfamiliar markets?

1. DEFINE STRATEGIC NEEDS

Tapping into new markets provides the opportunity for increased revenue and profits. However, this initiative needs to be consistent with the company's overall strategy. Inconsistent, sporadic, or unfocused deployment of resources directed toward international growth can result in an underperforming initiative that soaks up limited resources with little return. Barriers to entry (duties, regulatory, and trademark restrictions) need to be identified and addressed. A SWOT analysis detailing the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will identify and help maximize the company's strengths, minimize its weaknesses, and give focus to the international opportunity.

An international growth plan consistent with the corporate strategy will enhance the odds of success. Tactical aspects of international development such as sales, distribution, and marketing need to be addressed. International growth factors can be sufficiently different from the U.S. models that a lack of familiarity can dramatically reduce the chances of success. Above all, there must be clear direction, full management support, and dedicated resources.

2. SECURE APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE

Small or medium firms initiating or expanding into international business will find the U.S. Government's Department of Commerce (DOC) an enthusiastic partner in helping American companies succeed globally. This organization coordinates resources from across 19 Federal agencies to help American businesses plan their international strategies in an increasingly globalized environment. In an unfamiliar foreign market with confusing regulations, uncertainty, and risk, the DOC can help U.S. businesses navigate the overseas sales process and avoid hazards such as payment defaults and misappropriation of trademark and intellectual property. 
The DOC's commercial service provides a surprisingly actionable array of quality services including in-country market research, trade events and missions, trade leads, and introductions to prospective business partners. The Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration unite to help in the financing of U.S. goods and services exports to the international market, enabling companies to turn international leads into solid sales.

Firms specializing in international business development can help jump-start foreign expansion. These firms are groups of highly skilled, experienced professionals offering practical, cost-effective assistance to companies committed to maximizing revenue and profit potential through accelerated international growth. The range of services offered varies by firm, but overall they help companies conceptualize, implement, and manage large or small international business development projects. These services can range from determining the overseas market potential for a product to managing a firm's export sales to identifying and qualifying foreign strategic alliances. 
A company wanting to penetrate the international market needs to assign a fully dedicated resource to this initiative. This individual should be the linchpin connecting the organization's resources, know-how, and culture to the international initiative. As the business develops, additional resources should be assigned to maximize the opportunity. These should be considered investments rather than costs.

3. DETERMINE MARKET ENTRY STRATEGY

A firm's appropriate market entry strategy will largely depend on its level of international development. For a company just commencing its international development, market penetration via in-country distributor sales may be the fastest and most cost-effective way to enter a foreign market. Selling through in-country distributors is relatively low-risk and will provide valuable learning opportunities. Once the target country or region has been identified, a process that will naturally derive from the SWOT analysis, the selection process can begin. Various U.S. government agencies and trade associations can provide a wealth of data to begin narrowing the selection.

International Business Degree Schools Online

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Online schooling options are available to students looking to obtain a degree in international business. There are numerous schools and colleges that offer online degree training in the field of business. Students can prepare for the career of their dreams by enrolling in a number of programs. Online schools and colleges allow students to train for careers working in international finance, management, marketing, sales, importing and exporting, and more. Student may study coursework such as foreign culture, economics, imports and exports, tax, and much more depending on the chosen level of degree and specialization. Online degrees in international business can include an associate's, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree.

Associates degree programs are available from numerous online schools and colleges. Students can obtain an associates degree in international business in as little as two years depending on the specific area of concentration they choose. Coursework may consist of studying international trade, macroeconomics, global markets, international marketing, and other related courses. Students who wish to enroll in an accredited online program can train for careers with banks, multinational manufacturers, import/export corporations, consulting firms, and other international organizations. With an accredited associates degree students will have the skills and knowledge to pursue a bachelor's degree in the field.

There are a number of accredited online educational programs that allow students to train for numerous careers in international business. An online bachelor's degree program will take students approximately four years to complete. Course curriculum will vary depending on the specialization chosen by the students but may include the study of economics, principals of marketing, foreign language, international business finance, cross cultural studies, and much more. Students who wish to pursue international careers such as management analyst, sales representative, auditor, and accountant, should consider a bachelors degree. Those who wish to further their education can consider online degree training for a master's degree in international business.

Online schools and colleges allow students to enroll in masters degree programs in the area of international business. Online degrees at this level typically take students two additional years to obtain. Students can choose to specialize in a specific area including international trade, tax, management, and much more. Areas of study may include international business policy, trade controls, international finance, foreign operations, and more depending on the chosen specialty. With an accredited masters degree students can pursue careers as international marketing directors, multinational managers, international trade managers, financial controllers, and international foreign policy advisors. A degree at this level of education will allow student to enter the workforce or enroll in a doctorate program.

A doctorate degree in international business will allow students to earn their degree with an additional two years of study. Online educational programs train students in a number of subjects to ensure they receive the knowledge and skills to pursue the career they desire. Coursework may include theory of international business, research design, marketing, communications, multi-national enterprise, and much more. With an accredited online education students will obtain the necessary training to find employment as economic researchers, university professors, business development managers, chief executive officers, and other professionals. A doctorate degree is the highest level of degree obtainable in the field of international business.

Students looking to train for the career of their dreams with an accredited online school or college can obtain the degree they desire from just about anywhere. Online international business educational programs allow students to train in a number of specialty areas to ensure they receive the career they desire. By researching programs and requesting information students can be on their way to an exciting new career.

Focusing on International Business

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If you have always been fascinated by world cultures, exotic languages, international travel and foreign customs, you may want to pursue an Associate's Degree in International Studies. Unlike a Bachelor's Degree, an Associate's Degree only requires two years of schooling.

What does an Associate's Degree in International Business entail? Students who choose to enroll in a college training degree program in International Business will participate in intensive courses, focused classes and career preparation training that will prepare them for successful careers.

International business generally encompasses any subject or topic that deals with the function and operation of any businesses that are involved with or located in several different countries. These companies are often called multinational corporations.

Today, there are hundreds of multinational companies. Some well-known examples of them are Gillette, ALCOA, Procter & Gamble, Polo Ralph Lauren, Shiseido, DuPont, Citibank, DHL, Federal Express, Silicon Graphics, Sylvania Lighting, Hewlett Packard, Unilever, AT & T, Bacardi, Bank of America and Lockheed Martin International. These businesses typically have an interest or subsidiary over another company in the country of venture. International business is often substantially influenced by the factors outside of business, such as social, political, cultural, global and legal environmental standards of specific countries. Globalization has also powerfully contributed to the growing profit of international firms.

Everyday standards of living, legal regulations and government laws can vary from continent to continent. A person who wishes to professionally interact with international or foreign clients must face issues such as cultural differences, climate changes, language barriers, business practice variations and other possible conflicts.

Earning an Associate's Degree in international business give students a comprehensive education. Students will take business studies courses, general studies classes and cultural awareness program training. Associate Degree school degree programs provide students with skills in information technology, business management and international studies. Students will acquire skills that incorporate business strategies and smart tactics that will lead to the development of a culturally-educated, knowledgeable
business leader.

An Associate's Degree in international business can lead a college graduate into many different types of careers. A graduate can go on to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management or International Business or can go and work directly in the corporate world. By learning a second language, a person can become an even more valued asset to a company. Many companies seek out college graduates who are fluent in Spanish or Chinese and also possess a background in international business.

There are many different routes that a student can take with an Associate's Degree in international business. A graduate can explore the areas of exporting and importing foreign banking, tangible goods and world-servicing nonprofit organizations and international business empires. By pursuing an education in international business, a student can:

Go Global With International Business

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With the development of an integrated global economy, marked by free trade and free flow of capital, now is the time to pursue a cutting-edge international business career.

Around the World

In case you hadn't noticed, U.S. firms are expanding abroad. This requires organizations to form effective strategies for entering the international business market. They need to be aware of legal matters pertaining to specific countries, and they need to be concerned with organizational and administrative issues, especially if they are involved in a partnership with a foreign firm. As international business markets become more competitive, U.S. firms are learning to use resources more efficiently by reducing costs, streamlining operations, and developing marketing strategies.
That's why today's professionals need comprehensive knowledge of international business as well as foreign cultures and languages. Globalization has increased the need for international business workers with these specialized skills to manage multicultural and multinational workforces effectively.

"Distance" Learning

An international business degree will provide you with the training you need to manage an international business and to succeed in our global economy. With an international business degree, you'll be equipped with a global focus across different functional areas of business. You'll learn theories of international protocol and how they continually change. You'll learn to recognize global differences and apply sensitivity to cultural diversity issues in communications, management, marketing, and the legal aspects of global business operations in your international business career. You'll explore the differences among various economic development levels, as well as the new economic groups forming in Europe and Asia.

International degree program coursework may include international marketing, export/import practices, globalization, international trade, financial management, business planning, economic development, international law, international business policy, international culture, foreign languages, overseas business practices, foreign market analysis, foreign operations, sourcing, communications and negotiations, critical thinking processes, ethical codes of conduct for global business leaders, marketing strategies, and management practices and processes.

The Real World

With an international business degree, you can work as a business strategy consultant, managing consultant, account manager, project manager, business developer, distribution manager, director of international affairs, finance advisor, foreign market analyst, or management analyst, to name a few.

Management analysts, for example, held about 605,000 jobs in 2004, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of these international business career professionals is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. And, median annual earnings of management analysts were $63,450 in May 2004, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $120,220.

International Company Formation and Common Characteristics of International Business Companies

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An international business company or international business corporation (IBC) can be regarded as an offshore company that has been formed under the laws of specific jurisdictions as a tax-free company which does not have the permission to engage in business within the jurisdiction it is incorporated.

The characteristics of International Business Company do vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, some common characteristics of International Business Companies are:

The International Business Companies are exempted from local corporate taxation and stamp duty, with the condition that, it should not engage into any local business. However, the fees for the annual agent and registration taxes are not included in the exemption.
They help in reserving the confidentiality of the beneficial owner
The International Business Companies do have corporate powers to engage in different businesses and activities
The International Companies can issue shares. That can be either in the registered or bearer form.
They have a provisional place for a local registered agent
It can abrogate the requirement to demonstrate corporate benefit or appoint local directors or officers.
The process of an International Company Formation involves the following steps:

Approval of company name

The approval of the name is the first step in the setting up of an International Company. The Registrar of the Companies only approves the proposed name when it is not identical or almost identical to the name of any company that is already existing. When it comes to the name, the words like bank, insurance, and group are used only if the company has a special requirement for that or functions in particular sector/sectors related to those.

If any existing has any problem with the name of a new company, it can object the same, however, within a span of six months.

Registered office

Another integral requisite is the address of the company. The address which is recorded in the Companies Registration Office is the registered office of the International Company. This is a very important part of company formation as the official mails or correspondences need to be sent to the address which is recorded as the registered office. Please note that the registered office address can be different from the trading office address.

Shareholders

In the International Company Formation, the shareholders and stockholders play a very important part as they invest into and hold shares in the assets of the company. They have also specific rights like voting at general meetings of the company.

If the company is making considerable profit, they have the right to be awarded a considerable dividend. If it is liquidated, they can also make claims to get back the money they invested. What's more, the shareholders even have the power to remove the Directors of the company.