2 Are you familiar with other cultures? (Cross-cultural skills) How to communicate in a new culture?(Ccommunications skills)How to build networks? (Networking skills)How to develop my entrepreneurial skills? (Entrepreneurial skills and traits)How to start up a business in a new country?How to expand your business to a foreign country?
3 How to start up a business in a new country? This module gives you basic understanding about starting a business. The focus is on aspects related setting up a business in a foreign country, but the information offered is applicable also if you are planning to start a business in your home country.The topics to be covered in this module include formalities of business start-up, market information, business planning skills and funding. We also provide you some links to additional information about the topics.Business planning skillsMarket informationFormalities ofbusiness start-upFunding
5 Business Planning Skills Every business needs planning. No matter if it is a start-up or a long established company. The goals and aims of a firm need to be set, the steps toward the goals need to be planned, as well as the criteria for monitoring your success.Core competency areas needed in business planninggoal settingorganizing, analyzing and gathering datadiagnosing problems and their causespredicting and forecastingcommunicatingevaluating and comparing courses of actionimplementing and monitoring actions. (Dan J. Power of Planningskills.com)A business plan is a document which helps you to manage your plans.
6 What is a business plan? (1) “A business plan is a document that summarizes the operational and financial objectives of a business and contains the detailed plans and budgets showing how the objectives are to be realized. Because the business plan contains detailed financial projections, forecasts about your business's performance, and a marketing plan, it's an incredibly useful tool for business planning. For anyone starting a business, it's a vital first step.” (by Susan Ward, About.com Guide)
7 What is a business plan? (2) There are different forms for different audiencesa written presentation for external stakeholdersan oral presentationan "elevator pitch"an internal operational planA written presentation for external stakeholders is most commonly referred as a business plan.
8 Why do I need a business plan? By creating a business plan you’ll make the your ideas more explicit which gives you an opportunity to evaluate them critically and change your plans when needed.A good business plan is a living document. It should be updated regularly.It is a concise way to inform your potential financers and investors about who, what, when, where, how and why – some financers and investors even require a business plan.Thorough planning is even more essential when starting in a foreign country!
9 ”The business plan made it easier to communicate our business idea with other people. It was very useful when searching for the premises to rent and when applying for public grants and financing.”Irish shopkeeper in Finland”My mentor was a great help for me. He encouraged me in entrepreneurship and helped me in further developing and testing my business plan. It is important to have some ”outsider” to comment your business plan.”Caribbean business consultant in Finland
10 What should I write into a business plan? The plan should define specific business objectives and goals with general parameters to guide the organizationWhat should it include?basic information of the business (ownership, business form etc.),business idea,business environment,goals and strategies,marketing plan,product development plan,production and logistics,organisational and personnel plan,financial plan,risk analysis.Remember: Business plan should be simple, specific, realistic and complete.
11 What should I focus on when planning a business in a new country? The customer behaviour and needs may vary from country to country:”We came from Persia and started an ethnic retail shop in Finland just before Christmas time. We ordered lots of figs for the season, which all went bad. We just did not know that it was not a custom in our new home country to eat figs during Christmas time. Now we know better, and order many kinds of special nuts for the holiday seasons. And they sell very well.”A marketing strategy that is efficient in one country may be inefficient in another:”The Finns seem to be obsessed with the Internet! Being visible in the social media has helped our grocery in many ways.”Not only social environment (habits and valuations) differ, but also the physical environment – and it affects the business as well:”After moving to Finland I soon realised that the high season for selling garden furniture is quite short. Between August and April hardly anyone will buy garden stuff. The gardens will be mostly frozen that time. Coming from South-East Asia this was something new. ”The value of skills and competences is always in relation to the environment you are in. Matching your skills and competences to the needs of the new environment might be a key to success.Eg. ability to speak fluent Spanish in Spain, may not be much of a skill, but in some other country it is an asset that gives you competitive advantage, when starting a business dealing with Spanish speaking countries or enables you to work as a freelance Spanish teacher.
12 Why not start today? It’s fun. It is not hard!You can also get help if you need (see the links below)Free business plan templates and more info on using the business plans:Bplans.co.uk, Free Sample Business Plans and UK Business Plan SoftwareBplans.com, What makes a good plan, Business Planning Basics,Bplans.com, Business Plan Outline and Instructions:US Small Business Administration atAbout.com, Small Business Information, atVA-Interactive, Developing a Business Plan
13 Learning materials, tips and links Practical guide for doing business: A valuable resource for entrepreneurs and those who think about becoming one.- Resource center for entrepreneurs, lots of blogs etc. Harvard business review, lots of blogs etc. U.S. Small Business Administration (business plan templates, information on starting a business and managing a business, help on various issues) Stanford University’s entrepreneurship corner, lots of knowledge and inspiration Business Planning Central, advice in writing business plans, how-to-articles etc.
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16 Legal forms of business (1) After you have decided to start a business one of the important issues is the form of business entity that will serve as the vehicle in pursuing the business.There are many legal forms of business available for you as a business owner.Choosing the form of business that best meets your needs may:Protect you from unnecessary risksHelp you to minimise your taxation liabilitySave you time and reduce paperworkHelp you to avoid government regulation and unnecessary bureaucracy
17 Legal forms of business (2) The following three forms are the most common ones for a start-up entrepreneur:Sole proprietorship/sole traderPartnershipLimited liability company (LLC)Co-operativeIt should be noted thatthe regulations governing particular forms of business may differ a lot between countries.there might be also other kinds of business forms available, depending on a country.You should always check the country-specific information. European Commission’s web portal Your Europe, your opportunity - Practical guide to doing business in Europe provides country-specific information and links to Points of Single Contact in each EU country.
18 How do I choose the legal form of business? (1) Choosing the right form of business is important because it will determine for example how your business is organised, and how your business is taxed.It is good to know that your initial choice of a business form doesn't have to be permanent.It might be advisable consult business professionals when choosing the form of business.There are no fixed rules determining which is the most suitable form of business. The most suitable and appropriate form of business depends on the individual circumstances of each business owner. Considering the following issues might help you to choose the most appropriate form of business for yourself:Number of foundersIf you start your business alone, you can choose between sole proprietorship or limited liability company. If you have one or more partners then you have more alternatives.You can think about your working habits: Do you prefer to do things alone?Required capitalThe amount of capital needed for the business depends on the type and scope of the activities. Usually sole proprietorship requires little capital whereas in a limited liability company a monetary investment is required.If you aim at having a large number of investors, a limited liability company is the most suitable.Division of responsibilitiesA sole trader is responsible for any liabilities of the business with his/her personal property. The partners in a partnership have a similar personal responsibility. The responsibility of shareholder in a limited liability company is limited to the capital they have invested in the company.(Enterprise Finland. Different forms of business.
19 How do I choose the legal form of business? (2) Flexibility of operationsA sole trader makes all decisions alone and is responsible for the activities with his/her personal property. The partners in partnership make decisions either solely or jointly. Limited liability companies are usually represented by their Boards of Directors.Limited liability company requires more statutory paperwork to take care of than the other forms of business.Continuity of existenceA sole trader’s business operations are the most vulnerable on the death of the entrepreneur. In a partnership the share of the partner may usually be transferred to another person with the agreement of the other partners. In a limited liability company changes in the shareholders do not affect the existence of the company.Profit distribution and loss coverageA private entrepreneur retains any profits himself/herself, but is also responsible for the losses incurred by the business.In partnerships profits and losses are distributed among the partners, but there are some variations between the specific types of partnerships.A limited liability company pays its shareholders a dividend. Only the profit of the previous accounting period and unrestricted shareholder's equity may be used for dividends. A shareholder's losses will only amount to the investment.TaxationTax treatment varies depending on the form of business. Also each country has their own laws and regulations that need to be followed.When determining the tax burdens falling on different forms of business, attention must also be paid to the tax burden of the entrepreneur. The joint effect determines which form of business is the most profitable in terms of taxation.(Enterprise Finland. Different forms of business.
20 Sole proprietorship / sole trader A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person.As a sole trader you may operate the business alone or may employ others.(Business Link: Business Structures,+ Pros ConsAn easy way to start to run a businessUsually does not require lots of capitalYou have control over your work: what you do, how much you work, when you workKeeping records and accounts is fairly simpleYou can keep all profits you make!You are personally liable for the debts incurred by the businessThere’s no job security when you work for yourselfMight be lonelyIrreregular income – it might take a while when you start earning
21 Limited liability company (LLC) A limited liability company is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. It is owned by its shareholders, but has a separate legal entity from its owners. (Business Link: Business Structures,+ Pros ConsIt allows you to separate business and personal affairsIt protects you from personal bankruptcy – you are not responsible for the debts of the businessIt might be considered more credible businessIt allows more flexibility in arrangements between its shareholders and directorsThere are more paperwork and accounting requirements for LLC than for a sole traderIt might require some starting capitalThere are more rules governing the activities of limited companies than there are for sole traders and partnerships
22 + Pros Cons Pros Partnership yonnn A partnership is a business owned by two or more people who agree to share in the profits or losses of a business. The three typical classifications of for-profit partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.(Schaefer: Is a Business Partnership The Right Choice for You? Business Link: Business Structures,+ Pros ConsIt is easy to set upDoes not require high investmentsYou can share the business responsibilities, costs and the workload with your partnerYou and your partner can support and motivate each otherYou do not have to know everything by yourself – you can compliment each other’s skills with your partnerYou need to share the profits between partnersEach partner usually has unlimited responsibility of liabilitiesYou do not have total control over the businessYou need to make compromisesyonnnPros
23 + Pros Cons Pros Co-operative yonnn A co-operative is a business owned and run by its members. The founders may be private individuals or corporations, or foundations of other legal entities. As well as giving members an equal say and share of the profits, co-operatives act together to build a better world through co-operation.Cooperative Development Institute: Resources on Cooperative Development:+ Pros ConsIt’s member-owned and controlled with member effortDecisions are made democratically by the members which provide a strong direction to the operationsProfits are returned to membersAllows communities and groups to take responsibility for their own needsMight be complex to operate. Co-operatives need to invest time and money in supporting their democratic process, e.g. educating members about key issues.In order to run smoothly, co- operatives require unity, commitment and motivation from all its members.Access to capital might be challengingyonnnPros
24 How do I register my business How do I register my business? Administrative procedures related to business start-upThe business registration procedures vary between countriesThere might also be different registration procedures for each form of businessesTypically, as a new business owner you need to register your business to the authoritiesAlso you need to take care of social security registration and tax registrationIn some countries it is also mandatory for a business owner to insure himself against retirement, unemployment and death(European Commission. Your Europe – Start-ups.Each EU member state has set up “Points of Single Contact (PSC)” that aree-government portals helping businesses complete their administrative procedures on-line.You can use the "points of single contact":to get detailed information about doing business abroad or in your own countryto complete administrative formalities concerning the establishment of a business or the cross-border provision of services.Points of Single Contact – Easy completion of formalities for service providers:
25 Learning materials, tips and links Points of Single Contact – Easy completion of formalities for service providers:Business Knowhow, Starting a business:Open a European Company. The European Company Formation Experts:Startups. Build a better business:Startupnation. Everything you need to build a business:How to set up a co-operative : part 1 part 2Co-operatives UK:
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28 Market InformationGet a business ideaLearn the needs of your customersFind out who the competitors are and what they doRework on your business idea to offer something special to your customersKnowing your target market is extremely important for all businesses.But when you are starting a business in a country other than your origin, the knowledge about the markets becomes even more important.No matter how good your product or service is, in order to sell it you'll have to convince people they want or need it.This means you have to first find out what do your customers actually want or need. Then you need to know your competitors in order to compete in the marketplace. No matter what you're selling, the chances are your customers are already buying something similar from someone else.Once you know your customers' needs, you can align your product or service to meet them and get those sales. Use this knowledge to differentiate your service or product from the ones offered by the competitors. Making customers aware of how your business is better is how you'll convince them to buy from you.This section provides you information on the essentials of markets: what do you need to know and how and where you can find the information?
29 Market InformationWhen you start a business you need to be aware of your markets:In what kind of markets are you planning to operate?What is your target market?What are the needs of your target market?Is there lots of competition in the market? Who are the competitors? What are they doing?What are the market trends?
30 How can I find my target market? (1) There is no single product or service that would fulfil the needs of all people. As an entrepreneur you need to identify specific customers and try to satisfy their needs.You can start by thinking about your product/service. Create a description of your product: e.g. what it will be used for, who will use it, how much does it costs, how long does it last, and what is unique about it.Based on the description, continue by thinking about specific groups of people that you will want to tell about your product. You can start by researching demographics of your potential customers:What is the age and gender of the people who you would like to use your product?What is your potential consumers' education and income levels?What is the ethnic and religious background of the people who might use your product?Based on the demographic information, you are able to draw a customer demographic profile. For example, you may find that your target market includes people in their 30s and 40s, who have a university degree, have a middle class income and are married with small children.(How to Find Your Target Market, eHow.com:How to Determine Your Target Market for a New Product, eHow.com:
31 How can I find my target market? (2) After you know the demographics, you can continue studying your target markets by analysing the psychographic information of your potential customers:What kind of a lifestyle your target customers have? E.g. are they following the latest trends or they more conservative? Do they drive a car or prefer walking, in which kinds of houses they are living? Little details can tell you the type of people they are.To which social class your consumers belong to? This information might help you to know if your potential customers have extra money to spend and whether or not they spend it.What do your customers like to do in their spare time, what their hobbies are, what sort of music they listen to, are they interested in environmental issues or politics etc.? Information of activities, interests, attitudes and beliefs of your customers help you later to sell your product.When you have finished, put the psychographic information into a customer profile along with the demographic information to figure out who your market is and how to go about advertising to the market.(How to Determine If a Market Exists for a Product, eHow.com How to Find Your Target Market, eHow.com: How to Determine Your Target Market for a New Product, eHow.com:
32 How can I find my target market? (3) Next, assess where and how your target customers currently buy the similar kind of product or service you are planning to sell.Who are your competitors? What kind of products your competitors are offering? What kind of customer profiles they have?You can do a S.W.O.T.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, Trends) on your product/service compared to the competitors to better understand your position in the market.Based on the information you have found this far, write a short description of your target audience. If you have several different types of customers developing, write a separate description for each. This will help you to focus on one target group at a time.Before launching your business officially, test your product out with potential customers that represent your target markets. Modify your products and services based upon the feedback you receive.NB: Conducting market research is a continuous process. You need to continue studying your customers and modify your products based upon feedback you receive, so that you can keep up with the competition and can respond to the needs of the customers.(How to Determine If a Market Exists for a Product, eHow.com How to Find Your Target Market, eHow.com: How to Determine Your Target Market for a New Product, eHow.com:
33 How to do market research? Market research is an excellent way to gather information on your industry, your competition and your target marketThere are two types of market research:Secondary market researchPrimary market researchIf you have money, you can hire a marketing research company to do the research for youA cheaper option is to contact local business schools. Sometimes graduate students are interested in doing market feasibility studies for course creditAlternatively, you can do the market research by yourself
34 What is secondary market research? Secondary market research refers to analysing data that has already been collected by someone elseIt is often quite cheap, some materials can be found free of charge onlineIt is a good starting point when you want to analyse your target markets, evaluate your competitors and assess political, social and economic factorsHowever, it does not allow you to get first hand knowledge of your customers and their needs
35 Where do I find information on markets? There are many secondary sources of information you can exploit:Reports and articles: business magazines and the business section of the newspaper provides information on the economy and the effect it’s having on different types of businesses or markets.National statistical offices can give you an idea what’s happening in the economy, population and trendsTrade associations for your industry can offer industry-specific informationLocal authorities and Chambers of Commerce can provide local informationMarket reports can be found free of charge from the web, also market research companies sell them online
36 What is primary market research? Primary market research refers to analysis of information that is directly collected from the source, e.g. from your customers.It can be conducted either by you or by a company that you pay to conduct the researchIt can be costly and time-consuming to gather this kind of dataHowever, the information is likely the most valuable, because it is the most current and the most specificIt is advisable to use both secondary and primary market research to get a comprehensive picture of your markets
37 How do I conduct a primary market research? The starting point for all market research should be the objective of the research. Also the type of data you need and the amount of money you are able to spend will determine which techniques you choose for your market research.The most common techniques of collecting the data include:Interviews:You can interview e.g. members of your target market in person or by phoneFocus groupsYou can use focus groups to study opinions and perceptions of a small targeted group of consumersSurveysYou can conduct surveys of your target market either via mail, telephone, Internet or in your store. Social media tools can be helpful.There are free online survey tools available (e.g.ObservationYou can observe your customers at various points of contact in your businessYou can also observe your competitors, e.g. how they are serving customers, how they market their services?Field testsYou can test customer responses to your product under real-life selling conditions. This can help you make product modifications, adjust prices, or improve packaging.(Understanding the Basics of Small Business Market Research, AllBusiness.com:
38 Tips for conducting the market research Reward your customers after having participated in your study, e.g. offer discount coupons or organise a prize drawPay attention to the sample: make sure your target group is relevant to your needs and represent your target marketKeep your research impartial, avoid using leading questionsInterpret results with care, you can use an outside person to analyse your dataDo not ignore criticism as it can be the most valuable data for you to develop your serviceIf you are using a survey:The larger the sample, the more reliable your results will beMake your questionnaire easily understood and as short as possible. Closed questions are recommended, but try to receive more detailed responses than just "yes" or "no“Provide also a possibility for open-ended commentsIf you are making interviews or focus groups:Record all discussions for review and analysisCreate a friendly environment and encourage participants to share openly their viewsIt might be easier for the participants to open up to an outside facilitator(How to Conduct Market Research, eHow.com: Market research and market reports, Business Link:
39 Learning materials, tips and links Tips and tools for conducting market research:How to conduct market research:21 market research tipsSurvey monkey -tool:
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42 Do I need some funding for my business? YES AND NO!The amount of funds needed when starting a business varies signifigantly. You may not require funds at all – or just a minimal amount – if you are offering a services that is mostly based on your own skills and knowledge. Hence, how much funds are needed depends on the type of business you are starting. The cost are much lower when starting up a consulting firm or a hot-dog stand than when starting a high-tech factory or a leisure centre.But even if we are talking about different amounts of money, the fact is that some money will be needed. Therefore, it is important to plan your income and expenditures. You may need to purchase office equipments, means of production, stock, etc. You’ll need to ensure your own living during the first months, too. Most business-owners tend to underestimate the amount of money needed for start-up. Read more about estimating realistic start up costs atWhere can you get funds? Your own savings perhaps? Your family and friends? Bank loan? Public grants? Privat investments? Do you know, how to get them?
43 Where can I get funding? (1) Own savings+ You will be independent and don’t need to worry about instalments of loans- The amount of money is often quite limited; your business idea will not be tested by ”outsiders”Family and friends+ Family and friends can be trusted; owing them motivates you to work even harder for your business- If the financial situation of the firm gets bad, there is a risk of disagreements, which can harm the family or the friendshipSubsidies+ Free money that you don’t have to pay back- The amount of money is often quite small; the procedures involve reporting and other red tapeBank loans+ You don’ t loose your command on the business- The money is on a market price, many times you’ll need a solid security
44 Where can I get funding ? (2) Public guarantee schemes and public loans+ reduces your need for solid securityAngel investors+ looking for high growth and high return, more likely to invest smaller amounts than venture capitalists; also with lesser ownership- you will loose some right of disposal in your companyVenture capital+ ready to invest large sums of money, usually in high-growth and high-tech industries, willing to invest in start-ups- you will most likely loose more than 50% of your ownership
45 When starting a business in a new country, how do I know where to look for help with financing? Raising funds in a new country without networks and connections is a little bit harder than at your country of origin.Every European country has its own public funding system as well as business support system, which you should find out before starting a business.Country-spesific information and links to locan support organisations can be found at Your Europe Portal:Other helpfull places to start are:European Small Business Portal, Obtaining fundingWhat is it? European Small Business Portal gathers together all the information provided by the EU on and for SMEs, ranging from practical advice to policy issues, from local contact points to networking links.Enterprise Europe Network:What is it? The Enterprise Europe Network brings together business support organisations from across 49 countries. They are connected through powerful databases and know Europe inside out. With more than 580 member organisations they are always close to where your business is based.European Commission, Enterprise and Industry, More risk capitalWhat is it? EU policy highlights overview with useful definitions and links.EBAN (European Business Angel Network):What is it? EBAN is a representative of business angels, business angel networks, seed funds and other early stage investment professionals across Europe.
46 ”We sold our land back home in Greece before moving to the UK ”We sold our land back home in Greece before moving to the UK. So, we had little money to invest. And when we faced difficulties in finding jobs, we decided to start up a business of our own. ”Greek restaurant owners in the UK”We got a start up loan as well as a start up grant when we started. The local start up agency helped us a lot and explained us all where we could get financing. A well written and specific business plan helped us to ’sell’ our business idea to the financers. ”An Irish shopkeeper in Finland
47 How can I plan my financial needs? You’ll need to sit down with a calculator and spend some time in planning your future. Don’t get scared, it is not as hard as you think.If you need help, look for an accountant at your area. Especially, when operating in a new and foreign country a local accountant is priceless. There are numerous practicalities and regulations that you must be aware of when running your business and in a new society it is not always easy.When you start a business in a new country you’ll need to identifythe accountingfinancialtax regulations,and to choose how they will be met.
48 Is it ok, if I think about financing only when starting up my business? PlanExecuteMonitorEvaluateFinancial planning and the financial resources are tools – not goals themselves.Financial plans are living documents which you should update on a regular basis. Plan also for the future. Big investments and their financing need to be planned well ahead.
49 Learning materials, tips and links Financing for for-profits:Financing tipsFinancing options for start-upsHow to raise money for your business?Templates for income statement: Microsoft Office templates SME Toolkit , Vertex42 and with search engines you’ll find many more – even on your own language!Templates for balance sheet: Microsoft Office templates SME Toolkit Vertex42 and with search engines you’ll find many more – even on your own language!Templates for cash-flow statement: Microsoft Office templates Small Business Arena Vertex42 and with search engines you’ll find many more – even on your own language!
50 Many thanks for using our service Many thanks for using our service! These materials were produced by ELIE partnershipPlease, visit us on:WEB