10 Growth recommendations for entrepreneurs looking to build global businesses 

By Carlos Jimenez Castrillo

One of the most impactful and rewarding deeds in today’s world is starting a business. Before the 21st century began, there was a huge rise in investment into internet-based companies, which slowed down for the first few years of the new century but has now greatly picked up.

Many of these new investments have come as a result of the reputation these internet-based businesses have built, given how quickly some of them have moved from just ideas to become multi-million and billion-dollar businesses, displacing legacy businesses, some of which have been around for decades.

In addition to the opportunity of building something with the chance of gaining greater traction quickly, the popularity of startups has also come from the growing number of support programs—such as Freshworks for Startups—for people who wish to start and grow businesses. 

This has made the takeoff phase so much easier than it was years ago and thus increased the odds of success.

Today, founders can find services online that help them achieve things that years ago would have required a lot of expertise, capital, and wide networks to pull off. From business setup costs to cloud computing costs and the actual tools to run a successful business, everything seems to be more available and affordable.

Nevertheless, while opportunities abound for all businesses, some companies do better than others, becoming well-known global enterprises. 

More often than not, the difference in how these businesses fare comes down to the quality of leadership and how they are run. 

Thankfully, a lot of these global businesses are built in public, enabling others who wish to build similar companies with the right steps to follow. Here are ten important things entrepreneurs need to do to achieve global business status.

Do a lot of research and make data-backed decisions

Right from the start, it is crucial for you as an entrepreneur to find out what works and what doesn’t work for your business. Entrepreneurs talk about product-market fit, how important it is for businesses, and how businesses die from not achieving it quickly enough. 

The easiest route to getting this fit is through proper market research and using data from tests and experiments with the target audience to make business decisions. This way, you are building exactly what the market wants. 

It is important to note that research never stops, especially when building for multiple markets. Changes happen rapidly and aside from that, what works for, say, the North American market might not work for the Asian market.

For each region your business seeks to expand to, you must ensure you understand what the market needs, how they need it, and work your way to satisfying the customers based on these data points.

Have the right structure right from the start

Entrepreneurs hear the product advice “Just ship” and start to think that this applies to all areas of their business. However, such thinking is erroneous. A proper structure is just as important as what you decide to sell, the markets you want to sell in, and how good your product or service is.

Your business structure determines a lot about how your business will operate, how easily decisions will be made at your company, what taxes you will pay, even how investors will view your company. 

In addition, a properly incorporated business also becomes an entity of its own which protects you from losing your personal assets in the event that the business fails.

Today, many global businesses choose the Limited Liability Company (LLC) structure because of the flexibility it affords them in terms of company operations, the reduced taxation when compared to a C-Corporation, and other key advantages. 

Register your company in the right place

Every year, the World Bank publishes an Ease of Doing Business report which shows countries where running a business is easy and places where it is extremely hard and near impossible.

Beyond what structure you pick, where you incorporate the business matters as this can sometimes play a huge role in how much access to the capital and other resources you get to scale your business.

Even in countries where it is relatively easy to set up and run a business, it is easier in some states than it is in some countries. Incorporating in the United States has been a great option for a lot of today’s global businesses, with many entrepreneurs opting to register in Delaware over other states. Here’s why you should do so too.

Be concise and confident when trying to raise money

Yes, registering your business in certain places brings you closer to capital to scale your business, but you still need to know how to convince the people with this capital to write you a check.

One piece of advice everyone who has raised money from venture capitalists and angel investors always gives is the need to be concise about what you want, why you want it, what you give in return, and what the next stage of your business looks like. 

Investors love to see what you have done so far, how their money, expertise, and relationships can help you get to the next phase, and what that next phase will be for your company. This strategy combines hard facts and numbers, with good vision-selling about where your company is headed.

In telling this story, you need to be confident and always show that you believe in what you are building. If you doubt your own business model, the investor has no reason to believe in it.

Don’t do it alone: Build relationships and get good guidance

Building a global business is hard and sometimes lonely. You could have the right idea but not know how to go about executing your idea or be filled with doubt about its viability. This is where incubators and accelerator programs come in.

These days, incubators and accelerators come in different shapes and sizes, working with entrepreneurs at different stages of their business journey to provide the right support they need to grow and build stellar products. 

It is important to find an accelerator program that offers what you need—it could be market access, talent, capital, product validation, etc—and apply to join them. During the program, your idea will get a boost from expert help from people who have built global businesses before. 

One of the world’s best accelerator programs, Y Combinator, has helped many tech businesses from being local startups, operating in emerging markets, by giving them global access to funding, talent, and much more. This makes the process of building a global business a lot easier.


Hiring people who are resilient, work well in teams, can communicate their ideas properly, and are teachable and proactive will see your business grow rapidly because such people know how to harness opportunities.


Hire people with great attitude and complementary skills

Business success always comes down to the team behind an idea. Investors are always quick to point out that they do not fund ideas; instead, they invest in people who they believe are driven enough to produce great results.

As an entrepreneur, right from the point of choosing a co-founder, you need to always optimize for people with a great attitude first, before even considering the level of experience they have in a key skill.

Hiring people who are resilient, work well in teams, can communicate their ideas properly, and are teachable and proactive will see your business grow rapidly because such people know how to harness opportunities.

In addition to hiring such people, endeavor to hire a diverse team, both in skills and perspectives. The more diverse a team is, the more likely they are to solve complex problems that require different skill sets and to excel at serving a diverse audience.

You also need to ensure they are well taken care of so they are able to produce great results. Tools like this one can help you achieve this.

The right marketing and product for the right audience

Entrepreneurs believing in a one-size-fits-all approach for different markets may soon find their intended global business on the route to oblivion.

People differ due to culture, level of education, spending power, and much more. Being able to understand these differences and tap into the unique psychographics of customers in different places as part of your go-to-market strategy is the hallmark of global business marketing. 

For instance, Netflix invests in local content across different regions in order to appeal to users in each of the countries it operates in. It also offers varying price points per market, with different approaches to marketing that suit the audience.

Again, to get it right with marketing your product in a new region, do your research and rely on what the data says. Even with the internet making the world feel smaller, you still have to develop a concrete plan for how your product or service will get into the hands of those you hope will use it and generate revenue for your business.

Properly segmenting your users and running targeted campaigns is one way to achieve this and the Freshworks Customer Segmentation tool can help you achieve this.

Look out for partnerships and leverage them

When tourists travel to a new place, they find a guide who can show them around and point them in the right direction to avoid getting lost. In the same vein, countries constantly seek allies with whom they can have beneficial military, trade, and other kinds of relationships.

This is how successful global businesses operate as well. As an entrepreneur, you need to value collaboration over competition because it makes your work faster and easier. 

For instance, when expanding to a new country, you can find smaller partners who already offer similar services like the ones you hope to offer and get into a partnership with them. 

Such partnerships often make market penetration easier given the local insights such a partner might have. It also widens the network of your business because the partner provides the access you lack—and vice versa.

If you run a technology business, a partnership of this nature will give you a shorter sales cycle as well; in some cases, it might lead to a merger or an outright acquisition, making your business bigger.

Stay away from regulatory and compliance issues 

As your business moves from country to country, regulations would vary, especially around things like tax remittances and labor laws. It is important to ensure you are always up to date with what the right rules are and that you follow them.

Evading tax or even being ignorant about government expectations from businesses like yours can quickly land you in fines that can wipe out whatever profits you might be making in that market. 

While many entrepreneurs who build great global businesses are not lawyers or tax advisors, they do well to hire people who are, or even outsource to companies with such expertise. Doing this early will prevent problems that can crop up later and ensure that such issues are factored in when incorporating your business.

Invest in  branding 

One of the easiest ways to succeed as a global business is by becoming a recognizable brand, one that people love. This way, users already know you and what you stand for, thereby requiring you to spend less on marketing to convert them.

To achieve this, right from the start, while you might still be operational in just one country or two, invest heavily in telling your story and defining who you are. This way, you already have fans and possible customers in other countries before you even arrive there. 


It is clear to see that the bulk of building a global business lies in laying the right foundation from the beginning. From choosing the right business structure to registering in the right country and doing proper market research, your business will only go as far as the early setup steps permit. Entrepreneurs following sane advice and taking a data-driven approach to doing business are more likely to achieve global success than those who don’t.


Sign up and gain access to $10,000 credits on essential tools and products for your startup, including CRM, Livechat, Helpdesk, and much more through the Freshworks for Startups program. Get access to Freshworks’ community of VCs, Investors, Mentors, and Customers to scale your business globally. Click here to know more.

About the author

Carlos Jimenez Castrillo is a product partnership manager at Firstbase.io. He is passionate about startups, venture capital, SaaS sales, and helping startups get funded in Latin America.