Becoming A Borderless Business - What Does It Really Mean?
Becoming a global company, a juggernaut in their industry is only a dream for many companies. Why? Becoming a “borderless business” is tantalizing, with an almost limitless potential customer base and fame and fortune as your reward for joining the global economy. But is it too much work and risk in such an endeavour?
In today’s unified commerce climate, it’s easier than ever to actually go global, and technology can make that conversion as smooth and seamless as it ever has. Consumer preferences have been trending toward online shopping experiences for years already, and the pandemic has accelerated the evolution to eCommerce, even as the markets have shifted over the past decade.
And why not? A report by Standard Chartered found that nearly 40% of corporations believed their greatest opportunity for growth lies outside the borders of their home country. For most companies, revenue can remain more or less consistent in their home market, but to achieve significant growth, expansion is often necessary. In other words, your bread may be buttered at home, but if you want to eat steak, you might need to go out.
But what does it mean to be a borderless business?
First, it means culture is everything…and nothing. Google marketing pro, Dr. Virginia Sharma, defines borderless businesses as enterprises that are “global from inception and scale through digital” and have no real headquarters and a workforce comprised of “global, ethnically, and culturally agnostic citizens.” Their culture is chiefly their own, and their goods and services are sold directly to their buyers' homes and offices.
“What holds them together is culture and networks and not office postal addresses,” she writes.
In other words, borderless businesses are spread out from one country to another. Their culture is their public perception. With this layout, a business may have its virtual headquarters in one country but also operate in several others. Since a borderless business lacks the requirement of brick-and-mortar locations, it can reach a wider audience while spending less time and money on other resources. This has its ups and downs, but there are far more advantages to going borderless when considering a business, namely a seamless online experience.
Borderless businesses are easier to start and cost dramatically less than traditional companies. Without the need for brick-and-mortar locations (the second-largest expense that physical businesses must consider expanding), more money can be allocated elsewhere, mitigating cash-flow challenges other businesses may experience. Borderless businesses also don't require the same amount of personnel, equipment, and other costs associated with legal regulations.
Using this model, an enterprise can be everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. No physical location means the freedom to sell a product or service to anyone worldwide. This is a distinct advantage for a business, but to realise success on a global scale, leadership must ensure a proper balance between customer satisfaction and positive revenue.
Here are some key features of a successful borderless business:
Optimised User Experience
An optimised user experience helps ensure the website runs smoothly. If visitors can easily navigate your site, finding what they need with minimal clicks and good information at their fingertips, you’re much more likely to build a customer base. Building a sound, solid website with adaptable features like an enabled autofill option at checkout and using proper currencies, taxes, and conversion rates will leave a customer satisfied, whereas a lack of those types of basic features will frustrate them. Visitors should have consistent usage across devices and find fast loading speeds when they first click on the site.
If you are a borderless business, chances are your customers will speak different languages. Offering multiple languages to choose from on a website and the checkout page eases confusion while increasing overall trust in the company. With more people feeling comfortable on your website, there are more chances that they will convert from a new lead to a loyal customer. Language inclusivity builds leads and generates more revenue.
Multicurrency and Multimodal Checkout with Cross-Border Payments
Offering the prices of goods and services in multiple currencies is essential to a borderless business. This not only eases customer questions and concerns, but it also offers an added layer of transparency.
Multiple payment options can also be beneficial to expanding the countries your business can sell to. Not knowing how much something costs in the currency that someone is used to can be alarming and not worth the confusion that comes with currency conversion. However, if the price of the goods or services is already adjusted to showcase the currency from the visitor’s country, they’ll feel more comfortable on your site and reduces the impulse to leave. Ease in browsing makes it easier to make an informed purchasing decision.
Transparency is essential for borderless businesses. With tax laws and regulations constantly changing, it's up to you as a business to ensure accuracy throughout the purchasing process and keep your customers updated on changes. All taxes and currency exchange fees should be clearly stated at checkout to prevent extra charges from being unaccounted.
The ability to pivot quickly when issues arise is key to maintaining a strong, borderless business, particularly if you own a smaller business. Many big businesses have the capital, infrastructure, and years of equity built with their customer base to absorb the costs of going global. If Apple decided to shut all its doors today and switch to an online presence, chances are that you would continue to buy its products. But a small local business shuttering physical locations and going online-only risks alienating and losing its client base. It’s important to have an established online presence and have the ability to properly inform your customers if you make that switch. It’s important not to rush the process.
Knowledge of Local Regulations
A survey of CFOs and treasurers by Standard Charter found information and guidance on local regulations was the highest-ranking single challenge facing companies expanding internationally. The ability to juggle the requirements across borders can cause chaos for a borderless business, as selling in a country requires adhering to local regulations. Are tax rates higher? Will there be shipping delays? Duties or export costs? A strong company will need to manage these requirements so there are no surprises that will hamper the bottom line.
Starting a borderless business can seem a bit daunting at first. But with the right guidance, the appropriate amount of research and front-end work, and setting yourself up for success using the right tools, your borderless business is sure to offer your worldwide customers a satisfying experience.
Many challenges revolve around going borderless and making that shift takes some work. Market regulations, tax codes, and product restrictions vary from country to country, so companies that operate virtually need a strong knowledge base to understand these potential restrictions.
And while being a global enterprise sounds great, startups beginning as a borderless business can be overwhelmed by the prospect, even considering the vast audience potentially available to them. It can be done, but you’ll need to do your homework to make the transition successfully.
Ready to get your banking process ready for borderless business? Fyorin can help!