Businesses of all sizes have long known the benefits of expanding their operations overseas. But, what about freelancers?
Yes. Freelancers can also cash in on crossing geographical boundaries. And, thanks to the internet and low-cost tools, it’s also easier than ever to work with clients from all over the world.
But, more importantly, here are 8 benefits of doing business with clients in other countries.
1. Tap in New Markets
Whether you’re a consultant or freelancer, there’s a possibility that you’re providing services that are unavailable in certain regions, but are still in-demand. By expanding your business into the global market, you may be able to connect with clients that aren’t only clamoring for your services, you’re also staying ahead of your competitors. In fact, it’s probably easier to launch a business overseas instead of your home country.
Furthermore, some foreign governments may even offer you incentives for doing business in their country.
2. Diversify Risk
There’s a cliched idiom that comes to mind right now; don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
One of the most appealing factors with working with international clients is that if there are economic meltdowns or natural disasters, your business can still thrive. For instance, if you have several clients in the UK and they’ve let you go because of the financial uncertainty following Brexit, you can still keep the cash flowing in because you have clients in profitable countries like Ireland, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.
3. More Favorable Economic Climate
Appearing in a new market could provide a more favorable economic climate. Maybe it’s because your native country is in a recession or has too many restrictive policies. Both of which would make it a challenge to make a profit. After doing some homework, you may discover several countries that are more “business-friendly” by having lower taxes or fewer environmental regulations.
4. Better Profit Margins
Financial motives could arguably be the most important motive for having international clients. In this case, you may have a client who resides in a country with a strong currency. Because of this, they won’t have any problems paying you the higher rates that you’ve earned.
5. Increases the Exposure of Your Business
When you work with clients overseas, you’re increasing the exposure of your brand. In fact, if you go above and beyond, your clients will gladly refer you to their colleagues, friends, and family, which in turn will give your brand recognition a major boost.
Eventually, you may even work yourself up to becoming a leading authority figure in that county.
6. You Get Paid Earlier
Security should be a priority for both you and your clients—especially when it comes to international transactions. Because of this, it’s the norm to use safe and efficient methods to complete transactions, including receiving payments for your services. However, international clients are also willing to pay you upfront to reduce any concerns of fraud, like bailing out on a payment, and giving you some working capital as you complete a project.
Thanks to eCash, electronic transfers can occur securely and almost instantly.
7. Gives Your Business a Jolt
If you’re business is struggling at home, you may be able to rejuvenate it by working with international clients. For example, the freelance market could be saturated with graphic designers in the States, which has slowed down your business. However, there could be a market for graphic designers in emerging markets like Brazil, Poland, or South Africa.
8. Transaction Fees Are Decreasing
For years one of the biggest drawbacks with having international clients was getting hit with expensive transaction, processing, and exchange fees. Thanks to eCash and digital wallets, these fees have become a concern of the past. For instance, Due charges just a flat 2.8 percent transaction fee on domestic and international credit card processing. Cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, can also reduce these fees since it eliminates sending and withdrawing funds through multiple financial institutions.
In other words, it’s never been as cheaper to work with international clients. Who not use that to your advantage?
Working With International Clients
Since you’re aware of the benefits of working with clients in other countries, here are six pointers to make working with international clients go as smoothly as possible so that you can have a long-lasting relationship
Be Aware of Time-Zones
This isn’t a major concern since most of your correspondence is done via email, however, it’s a reminder to keep your cool if you haven’t heard back from a client. You can use a tool like the World Clock to look-up the current local times.
Interpret the Client Correctly
Even if the client speaks English, there’s probably going to be some miscommunication if they use any slang. If you aren’t 100 percent what they mean, either search for the meaning or politely ask them to clarify.
Agree on a Payment Plan
There’s no reason to accept a check from an international client these days. It’s slow and inconvenient. Consider options like digital wallets, wire transfers, or cryptocurrencies. Prior to starting any work, you and the client need to agree on a payment plan.
Be Specific About Your Preferred Currency
If you reside in the States, then it makes sense that you wish to be paid in U.S. dollars. Make that clear, up front, to the client. By making these arrangements in advance so that you’re not paid in the client’s local currency.
Be Aware of Legal Issues
There are various regulations and laws when working with international clients. That means that even if there’s a contract, they may not be held liable. Discuss these terms with an attorney before signing a contract.
Learn Cultural Differences
When working with someone overseas, take some time to research their customs and etiquette. This will prevent any misunderstandings, confusion, and can assist you in getting the best rate possible when negotiating your terms.
By John Rampton