Working abroad in Ghana, West Africa has been both relaxing and profitable for us. We get to stay home at our three acre ocean front compound and students of wellness come and spend a weekend or two with us learning different modalities of naturopathy and holistic health while enjoying a cool Gulf of Guinea breeze and dining on the best vegan foods in the country. Here's how we did it.
1 Market research. Whatever country you're thinking of expanding to the first step is to do your market research. What types of wellness businesses are operating in the area of the country you are considering. It would be good to call and check to see how they are doing. This will ensure that you are not getting into another saturated market. Also make sure the market has the customers you want reach. This type of research also includes the possibility of language barriers and cultural challenges.
2 Develop networking relationships. The idea of who you know can also be beneficial when expanding to international markets. Most times setting up a business, acquiring land, and employing workers is slightly different than what you may be accustomed to in your home state. Therefore, have a network of local associates and other business owners who have already operating in your country of interest can make the journey so much more pleasant and easy.
3. Learn the language. To be able to communicate with your customers in both their official language and their cultural language is a big plus. You can usually learn another language fast by studying at least five days a week for nine months to a year.
4. Consider relocating even if it's only temporary. Like with any successful business the hands on experience of putting it all together and nurturing the growth and development of the business takes time. Because the health and wellness is still new in many places worldwide and foreign businesses are required to hire a certain percentage of local employees, it is going to take some time to train and gauge the effectiveness of your employees to run a profitable business.
5. Learn local business regulations. Foreign businesses always have to go through a registration process with the local government. Unfortunately that often comes with a hefty registration fee. ensure that your register your business the correct way to avoid having your business shut down by government officials.
6. Assess your ability for a long term commitment. Success in an international market will take a long term financial plan. Your start up should include at least a year of being able to operate abroad and market effectively to get the word about your business out there.As with any start up the three year point would be about the time that you can expect to turn a profit if all goes well.
In many places around the world there are communities in need of the knowledge and service of good health that complementary and alternative holistic wellness can provide. Not only can it be good for your business to be a source of healing for those you will serve who otherwise may not have access to these types of services, but it can be a healthy living experience for you too. Enjoy life, love and good health as you help others too.
Light and love,
June 13, 2018
About the Author: Dr. Akua Gray, ND is the author of numerous books on wellness, naturopathy and vegan nutrition. Her latest series of education manuals include Naturopathic Reiki Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and Detox Therapy: Detoxing Should Feel Good Too are available through bojakazhealthnetwork.com or Amazon. She is currently the primary curriculum developer for A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute and teaches an annual series of Naturopathic courses online and in person. Visit www.alifeofpeace.org