Moving abroad is one thing but packing up your business and taking it along with you is an entirely different challenge. Many people who attempt to move their businesses abroad and enter a new market will fail due to not doing the required research.
Portugal is a dream destination for many, and it’s easy to see why. However, business works differently on the other side of the world, so this is a decision that will take a lot of hard work from your side but could be well worth the effort if things go according to plan. As long as you put in the time to figure out how to handle things and then actually follow through on plans and execute them well, you stand a big chance at succeeding.
Here are the most important things to think about.
When moving abroad, your expenses and budgeting tactics will need to change, probably drastically. On a personal level, you’ll need to know how to get health insurance in Portugal, for example. When it comes to your business, other expenses will be important to deal with.
You might need to pay some legal fees to get your business reregistered in your new country, as well as consider rent for any office or warehouse space, the cost of suppliers of any materials you need, marketing expenses, hiring new staff, etc. remember that you might not be able to translate your business expenses directly into your new currency – a lot can change.
Banking and Taxation
Another thing to think about is how your finances will work – not just what things will cost, but what other, new expenses you might incur, where and how to bank, taxation laws, regulations about paying employees, and other financial management issues.
You’ll need to research taxation on business income in Portugal and other legal and financial details that might impact you. The best option would be to speak with a lawyer before making the decision so that you’re clued up on all the legalities before you commit to anything.
Next, and perhaps even more importantly, you need to consider whether or not your business aligns with the market you’re trying to enter. There’s simply no point in bringing your business to Portugal if your products or services won’t be needed or wanted in the area.
Do some market research and figure out which regions might have a gap that you could fill. Alternatively, you could use your market research to help you pivot slightly and turn your business into something that does meet a need you’ve identified, even if it means you’re not doing exactly what you were before.
The Language Barrier
You won’t only need to adjust your finances, but the way you communicate in business too. Unless you happen to be fluent in Portuguese already, it’s important that you start learning, and endeavour to work with someone who is bilingual and can assist you in this department.
You will need to translate all your business communication into the national language and further, it’s important to understand the people in order to be able to provide them with excellent service. Language barriers can seriously hinder sales success, so make sure to work around them.
The Cultural Difference
Closely connected with language, culture is another thing to consider. Especially in business, it’s important to understand cultural do’s and don’ts, because otherwise, you might accidentally make moves that could offend people.
Do some research and get a clear understanding of cultural norms and whether or not any of your products, communication, marketing material, etc. might be crossing boundaries in any way. It’s best to at least attempt to hire a few staff members who will be able to guide you through this.
Your Marketing Strategy
Finally, remember that your marketing will need to change almost entirely. You’ll need to consider the two previously mentioned points – language and culture – and shift all your marketing to make sure you’re aligning with the type of person you’re targeting now and speaking their language too.
Understand that humour might be different, symbolism and icons might have different meanings, and different ideas will appeal to a different groups of people, Sometimes, even details like your business name might need to change in order to align with the new market you’ve entered.
As you can tell, there’s a lot to consider here before you commit to such a big change. Western culture is vastly different from what you’ll find in Portugal, so you might need to make some serious changes and adapt to the culture shock.
However, if you spend time reading up on potential expenses, taxation and other laws, language, culture and what the market needs, you’ll be able to come up with a solid plan to make a success of your business no matter where you go.