Expanding Your Business Internationally

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Now that we’re living in the 21st century, the pace of business has changed from traditional models. As technology has evolved, what was once considered necessary for business expansion — like setting up a physical presence — has become a thing of the past with virtual technology, especially with “virtual phone numbers.”

Virtual phone numbers are VoIP-powered phone numbers that, when dialed, instantly route a phone call from any location in the world to another phone number (known as the “destination phone number”). It’s from this concept that you can gain access to customers in new international markets. In this article, we’ll show you how you can easily establish your business in new international markets by using virtual phone numbers.

How to Establish Your Business in International Markets

Once you’ve made the decision to use virtual phone numbers to expand internationally, it all comes down to adequately marketing your business and getting the word out.

Let’s look at an example:

Suppose your clothing business based in Canada wants to expand to markets in Japan. The first step would be to purchase a subscription for Japanese virtual phone numbers, which may include vanity phone numbers and/ or toll free numbers. Then, listing your Japan virtual phone number on your company’s website, social media, billboards, and other marketing outlets, customers in Japan can reach your business. Once calls are made, you can process them just as you would with domestic calls (while adhering to time zone differences, languages, customs, etc.).

Benefits of Virtual Phone Numbers for International Expansion

No Physical Presence Necessary: You may be weighing the options of expanding your company internationally in the traditional sense by establishing a brick & mortar presence, but are unsure of the investment necessary to do so. The truth is that not only is it a risky move — particularly for startups and small businesses — but the reality is that you won’t have the opportunity to earn a profit until you’ve leased space, hired staff, followed government procedures, and received approval. In contrast, using virtual phone numbers allows you to instantly reach markets at a significantly reduced cost and minimal risk.

Removes Barriers by Foreign Service Providers: The truth of international commerce is that many customers may not have the ability to reach or be reached by businesses that have contact numbers outside of their country. For some, these international customers may be blocked by their service providers. Others may be charged exorbitant long distance fees to call outside of their service network.

Virtual phone numbers offer a solution to these problems as they function exactly as local area phone numbers. This means that if an international caller dials your virtual phone number, the call will go through despite the restrictions of the service provider. Also, virtual phone numbers are available as toll free numbers that work across borders. These toll free numbers, known as ITFS numbers (or “International Toll Free Service numbers”) enable customers to reach your business toll free — something that may be impossible in certain regions of the world.

Added Functionality: Because virtual phone numbers are powered by the Internet, they work on behalf of evolving technology (like cloud computing) and gain new functionality that’s in line with how our modern world communicates. For instance, coupling a virtual phone number with “outbound calling” allows your business to reach customers in any part of the world and have the phone call routed through a local phone number — adding authenticity and aiding your business’ localization efforts. Similarly, virtual phone numbers can be coupled with “call recording,” which records and stores phone conversations for later review (and compliance with international regulatory organizations in industries like finance, investing, and banking).

This is why it is so crucial that businesses choose a service provider that offers the widest range of virtual phone number functionalities. For instance, United World Telecom has been part of the virtual phone number industry for more than 2 decades. Going beyond just the standard call forwarding capabilities, your business expansion efforts in new international markets depends on finding a qualified service provider.

Author’s Bio: As a writer that has been published in more than 50 publications, Tom Senkus seeks to provide readers with ways to leverage technology to remain competitive in the 21st century.