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7 Steps to an International Business

In today’s world, starting a home-based business has never been easier or more needed. Broadening your economic horizons is a necessity since the reality is, for those seeking employment, most jobs are hinged upon a local economy.

Depending on where you live, finding and holding down a job can require long commutes and a lack of flexibility, freedom or even time with family and friends.

So the ability to live locally and yet tap into a global economy has obvious appeal. It just makes sense to go where the business is.

And with the Internet, phone and Skype at your fingertips, you can actually work from home, on your own hours, while your business goes where economies are thriving.

So how do you do it? Discover seven simple and successful steps to grow a global business from home (or anywhere):

1.      Go with direct selling or network marketing.

The corporate headquarters of a direct selling (or network marketing) company serves as an entrepreneurial incubator of sorts for those looking to earn extra income without the constraints of a traditional job.

Starting a business from scratch would take months and months of research, and a lot of capital investment (and red tape). When you get started with a direct selling company, you become a business owner on day one, with the entire support infrastructure already in place.

2.      Pick a business you are passionate about.

There are hundreds of companies and products out there, and while there are a lot of factors to consider in picking the one you’ll want to go with, perhaps the most important is to pick what you truly care about.

Personally, I’d never be interested in calling people about jewelry or home goods. For me, it’s about representing products that I know will help people live healthier lives. I know I’ll always want to share the gift of better health with others.

3.      Get in the European Union.

With 27 member states and over 500 million people, the EU market represents a vibrant economic opportunity if you have the right products and get the logistics right.

By right products I mean that Europe and the UK have an avid interest in healthy foods and supplements. Worldwide, the EU is the second largest consumer of organic and natural products.

Logistics present the biggest issue for those looking to get in. Typically, people in the EU and UK are reluctant to order from a US company because of shipping delays, and customs fees. So, to get those logistics right, you’ll want to make sure your company ships WITHIN the EU.

That’s how Touchstone Essentials gets it right. All products are shipped from The Netherlands, so they arrive in days (not weeks), have no customs fees, and a low rate of 6% VAT, which makes it easy to share in the EU.

4.      Get access to Asia Pacific.

As a region, Asia Pacific represents 42% of total global sales in direct selling (2010). And Japan leads the way, with the second-highest sales of any country in the world, at $22.7 billion.

As a billion dollar market, Australia represents another opportunity for those who have contacts down under. Best positioned for growth are those businesses focused in wellness—which at 33% of all direct sales in Asia Pacific—represents the single largest sector.

Through Touchstone, members get access to Japan, Australia and Singapore with all orders shipping directly from the US to those markets as part of a personal use program. So every Member has a gateway to the pacific right from their home.

5.      Get connected with technology.

With the entire infrastructure provided by the corporate office of Touchstone, you don’t need to build websites, figure out Adwords, or anything like that. You get a free website right when you join, and you can use it to order, enroll members (from the US, EU or Asia Pacific) and manage your business.

All you do need is an internet connection from which you can access your website and email. My preferred method of connecting with people around the world is Skype either for phone or video calls. It allows me to stay connected with Members no matter where they are.

6.      Be professional, polite, and authentic.

Are there cultural differences between the US and the rest of the world? Yes. Generally, people in Europe and Asia tend to approach matters in a more formal manner. Internationally, people tend to view Americans as fast talkers. So it’s best to start every situation with a calm, professional and courteous approach.

No matter where you go, everyone appreciates hearing from someone who is authentic. Being yourself, and really listening to the needs of those around you, has global appeal.

7.      Products make the business possible.

Increasingly, people in Europe and the UK are looking at direct sales as a serious potential career path. In my experience, they tend to view the business on the basis of the products. After all, your long-term business growth is based on the quality of the products.

Unfortunately, some companies seem to only focus on the money-making side of things, which is a big turn-off in Europe. I’ve found a product-first philosophy seems to resonate with product-users and business builders alike.

With Touchstone Essentials, a global business is within your reach. Just ask Savannah Alalia who was born in Ecuador, lives in Thailand, and builds her business in the UK. Or ask Anna Rodgers, a new mum from the UK who builds her business throughout Europe.

With these seven simple steps you can go from home-based-business to global entrepreneur and you don’t even need a passport.

About Matt Twine:

Matt Twine is the Director of European Operations for Touchstone Essentials. Prior to planting the seeds of Touchstone’s success internationally, he cultivated financial freedom building a home-based business that spanned across Europe, all from his home in the UK.

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