Today’s marketplace is more globalized than ever before, with other countries investing in the United States and vice versa. Whether you want to build “inbound” or “outbound” business relationships with foreign companies, it is advantageous to have a strong international referral network. This allows you to tap into members who provide legal, accountancy, financial and other types of advice to companies and individuals worldwide. It’s a sure way to extend your reach and add a whole new channel for selling goods and services beyond your own borders.
AGN and other networking organizations
Weinstein Spira, for example, is active in AGN, an independent network of global accounting firms. This membership has afforded our firm access to clients anywhere on the planet that are allowed to do business with the U.S. AGN member firms collaborate to meet clients’ needs and improve client service by sharing experience and knowledge, understanding of each other’s markets and the needs of clients with cross-border requirements. The mission of AGN is to enable its members to globally support businesses and individuals with high standards, straight forward and practical business advice and local commercial know-how, wherever the need arises.
Such organizations also exist for other professionals, like law firms, real estate agents and brokers, insurance agents, cross-border logistics companies, and customs brokers, who can benefit from networking on an international scale to share referral opportunities. It’s an ideal solution for getting tangible products or services seamlessly into another country for overseas consumption.
During my 10-year career as a cross-border tax advisor, I have benefited from having a strong international referral network. Such a network enables you to:
- Interact with like-minded individuals and companies with common goals
- Generate qualified leads, or referrals, to obtain new business and expand your client base
- Develop a wider network to better help your customers with local referrals to assist in their target region
- Build a strong relationship upfront with inbound, foreign companies. If you are their first contact in The States, they will be less likely to look elsewhere or be wooed away by advances from the competition.
- Assist outbound, U.S.-based businesses to go abroad and be successful
- Become a trusted advisor, by offering international expertise to avoid dealing with strangers in a new market
- Gain access to a directory of services and professionals in other countries
- Get known in the world market by attending regular meetings that help facilitate and maintain connections/ties with other companies
- Make referrals to companies you have known over time, not just a name on LinkedIn
To date, Weinstein Spira has predominantly provided cross-border tax advisory services to U.S. companies wanting to do business abroad because that was the scenario typically encountered in Texas. However, this does not have to be the case. With decades of experience in inbound and outbound services, we are now actively seeking more international partners to do business with. We are ready to help.
This article was originally published by Weinstein Spira here.
By Tobias McFaul, Cross-border Tax Advisor and Manager