Going global is often the only way to really succeed as a business in this day and age, even if you’re a small business owner who once nursed few ambitions about making it big on the world stage. From aspiring entrepreneurs to the world’s largest corporations, going global is the only consistently successful strategy for businesses of all shapes and sizes in the 21st century, so it’s worth doing your homework in order to do it successfully.

Here’s how to go global with your business, and why reaching out to the broader world is an imperative part of making it as a successful business in the modern era.

Equip yourself with the tools to succeed

In order to successfully foray onto a global stage where the competition will be fiercer but the opportunities greater than ever before, you must start by equipping yourself with the tools to succeed. This means that you should be running an audit of your company’s digital arsenal to determine your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to getting your message out; a lackluster social media presence, for instance, will substantially hamper any chance you have of attaining success at a global level. By beginning with a thorough review of your existing IT operations, you’ll be ensuring that your company doesn’t make it to the big leagues only to strike out because it doesn’t have a bat at hand.

You shouldn’t be afraid to launch a comprehensive audit of your brand on social media to determine how effective you are at getting your message out to an online audience. When it comes to going global, pretty much everything revolves around the digital world and your company’s ability to penetrate through the noise of the market to reach out directly to consumers who are interested in your products or services. If you’re not intimately familiar with your audience and up to date on which platforms you’re dominating on versus those you’re fading on, you can’t possibly hope to compete on a global level.

Next, you should be reviewing your human capital to determine if you have the workplace talent you’ll need to thrive on the global stage. A business is only as good as its employees, and an inability to recruit globally-minded thinkers and tech-savvy workers to your rank-and-file positions will stymie your long-term ability to nurture and grow your brand. Take some time to read up on the workforce of the future so you know what kind of employment trends you’ll encounter over the next few years. As you’ll quickly see, companies everywhere need workers who are familiar working across international lines and reaching out to disparate customers from all over the globe.

Is your tech up to snuff?

A knight charging into battle without his horse and shield isn’t likely to fare well, and businesses which attempt to go global without adequate tech on their side are just as likely to fail. Now’s the time to ask yourself whether your tech is up to snuff, as you may need to seriously invest in your IT capabilities before trying to conquer global markets. There are many ways that tech can help you go global, not least of which being that the right software and hardware can keep your data secure while enabling you to detect and exploit consumer trends. Of course, you’ll also need some IT experts on your team to ensure that your company is safe from global threats, as any business operating on the world stage is more vulnerable to foreign attacks than the smaller fish who stick to local waters.

Make sure that your IT team is well-aware of your global intentions, know what my IP is and that you have the capacity to bring on more workers suddenly if your company is inundated with international business after you foray into global markets. Your brand could very well take off overnight if things go well, so it’s imperative that you’re on your toes and ready to move at a moment’s notice to adjust to rapidly changing business currents. If you want to avoid a calamitous IT breach, have your security experts brief your rank-and-file workers on IT security and safe data practices before you open your doors to international clients and their sensitive information.

Don’t be afraid to expand slowly

Finally, it’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Pushing your company to become bigger and bigger as you attempt to go global could actually backfire in your face, especially if you’re logistics aren’t prepared to handle a sudden influx of international orders. Furthermore, you could over-leverage yourself and fail to find a suitable international market for your goods or services, so adopt the old adage of “measure twice, cut once” to avoid suddenly overextending yourself in your rush to expand.

Expanding slowly will also help guarantee that foreign competitors don’t view you as an emerging threat and band together to tarnish your business prospects. When your company starts edging onto the turf of another business, you’ll face a competitive backlash, so be sure that you have a game plan ironed out before making a risky venture into a new market that’s jam-packed with both potential profits and fistfights with your competitors. Above all else, the global stage is brutally competitive and won’t hesitate to stomp out businesses which went global without thinking seriously about how they would fare in a new, more hostile environment.

Demonstrate a serious willingness to change, and you’ll likely survive and thrive when it comes to going global. The international market is an ever-changing arena where new players come and go on a daily basis, so those business owners who are ready to quickly evolve will do better than tired brands who are unwilling to change themselves. With the right technology on your side and with your workers thoroughly educated on the perils and potential of a global marketplace, you can’t possibly fail when it comes to taking your small business and turning it into an international commercial empire.