5 tips for doing business abroad
Pushing your boundaries abroad can bring a lot to your company. After all, your market suddenly becomes many times larger. There are, however, a number of snags. If you want to do business internationally, you need to be well prepared. We give you 5 tips for doing business abroad.
1. How do you get international customers?
An important factor in attracting international customers is your website. It is of course always good to have your website in English. Do you want to target customers from a country where no English or Dutch is spoken? Then it is definitely an advantage to also offer your website in that language. And that goes beyond simply translating your texts, you have to use the right ones tone of voice for your target group in that country. It is therefore wise to engage a professional translator.
2. How much VAT do you charge?
Something where a lot entrepreneurs encountered is the charging of VAT to customers abroad. If you work with a customer from a country that does not belong to the European Union, the VAT rate is generally 0 percent. Within the European Union you usually charge 21 percent for private customers, for business customers you reverse the VAT. In case of doubt, always contact the Tax Authorities, because the situation can be complicated.
3. Think about the cultural differences
Please note that another country is always certain cultural differences entails. You may think mainly of countries outside Europe, but business practices in European countries can also be (slightly) different than in the Netherlands. So always first thoroughly familiarize yourself with the business culture of the country of the customer you do business with.
4. Take into account any foreign currency
Do you work with customers who are not in the Eurozone? Then there are a number of extra things that you should take into account. First of all, always send your invoice in the customer's currency. This way you make it a lot easier for your customer. With the right invoicing software, this doesn't have to be that difficult. If you often work with customers who pay in a different currency, it can be recommended to use a foreign currency account to open. You are then less dependent on fluctuations that affect the value of the currency.
5. Offer the right payment methods
In the Netherlands, iDeal is a very popular payment method, but this does not apply abroad. It is therefore necessary to offer other payment methods. In general, an option for PayPal and credit card will get you a long way. However, it never hurts to see if a different payment method is often used in the country you focus on.