5 International Business Examples to Learn From (2023)

The term international business refers to any business that operates across international borders. At its most basic, it includes the sale of goods and services between countries.

Yet, other forms of international business do exist. For example, a business that produces components or products overseas but sells them domestically can be considered an international business, as can an organization that outsources services, such as customer service, to locations where labor expenses are cheaper.

For most organizations, decisions around building, producing, and selling products or services are informed by many factors. Cost is an important one because businesses that primarily operate in developed markets, like the United States and Europe, can often source cheaper labor abroad.

Free E-Book: How to Be a Purpose-Driven, Global Business Professional

Access your free e-book today.


Other factors play a role in decision-making, too. For example, an organization that makes a conscious effort to become more sustainable may produce its product as close as possible to the end user to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation, even if it might result in higher labor costs. Likewise, a business may take pride in sourcing local labor to create jobs and support the economy.

Although international business can benefit the global economy, it also carries inherent risks. The fact that each country has its own government, regulations, inflation rates, and currency can complicate business models and must be weighed against the perceived benefits of operating internationally. Some of the most common challenges of international businesses include language and cultural barriers, currency exchange rates, and foreign politics and policies.

What Is a Successful International Business?

International businesses must have resilient, adaptable, communicative, and resourceful employees who know when to seize expansion opportunities. They need to have a deep understanding of international economics to anticipate how global markets will affect their bottom line and international marketing to effectively communicate their organization’s value to diverse audiences.

Are you interested in working with an international organization? Do you have plans and aspirations to take your business international? Here’s a look at five well-known international businesses that have successfully—and not so successfully—navigated the global market.


Examples of International Businesses

1. Apple

Apple Inc., founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in the 1970s, is now considered one of the most influential international companies. Headquartered in the United States, Apple designs, develops, and sells electronics, software, streaming, and online services worldwide.

Apple opened its first international location in Tokyo, Japan, in 2003 after saturating the American market. Under Jobs, Apple touted ease-of-use, innovative design, and customer loyalty with the marketing slogan, “Think Different,” and it continues to use visionary strategic marketing and a tight ecosystem to overcome competition and attract creative audiences around the globe.

Apple not only sells products internationally but has supply chains from 43 countries that ship supplies to China for final production and assembly. By keeping a tight-knit and strong relationship with suppliers, strategic inventory, and a focus on sustainability, Apple stands as one of the world’s most successful companies.

2. Financial Times

The Financial Times is a formerly British daily newspaper that’s now owned by the Japanese holding company Nikkei. The Financial Times’ mission is to deliver unbiased, informed investment and economic information to empower individuals and companies to make secure investment decisions.

The Financial Times had a rocky start trying to break into the international market. Andrew Gilchrist, former managing director of the Financial Times, describes his experience at the publication in the online course Global Business.

During his tenure, the Financial Timesprioritized entering the international market in India. Despite a large English-speaking population and strong government support, domestic journalism was considered culturally and legally suspect. In fact, the Financial Times was eventually tied up in legal knots because the local newspaper barons were able to challenge every move through the courts.

Eventually, the Financial Times’ attempt to go international in India led to an economic slowdown and sluggish company growth.

5 International Business Examples to Learn From (1)
(Video) Unit 5: international business

3. McDonald’s

Two brothers, Maurice and Richard McDonald, converted their drive-through barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, California, into a burger and milkshake restaurant—now known as McDonald’s—in 1948.

The McDonald brothers focused on creating a better business system geared toward self-service and efficient and repeatable processes that relied on heating lamps instead of waiters. This model, known as “Speedee,” led to lower costs, cheaper products, and faster growth. It became the epitome of “fast food.”

Soon after, Ray Croc took McDonald’s a step further by bringing in franchisees and suppliers, leading to the creation of restaurants across the United States. McDonald’s model continued to expand, and, in 1967, the company opened locations in Canada and Puerto Rico.

McDonald’s has been internationally successful, thanks in large part to the consistency its business model allows. The fact that a Big Mac tastes the same regardless of which country you order it in is a testament to the company’s long history. Today, there are 38,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries.

4. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886 at a soda fountain in Atlanta, Georgia. It was used as a tonic for common ailments due, in part, to the addition of cocaine and caffeine derived from the kola nut, which was a major ingredient at the time. (This was later removed from the recipe in 1903.)

Although popular at its inception, Coca-Cola became the company it is today because of the marketing and business leadership of Asa Griggs Candler and future investors, who dramatically increased sales and expanded syrup factory production into Canada.

Eventually, an independent bottle company licensed the rights to Coca-Cola’s syrup production and distribution, streamlining production and generating massive profits. Coca-Cola later remarketed for Germany, China, and India, and it’s now sold everywhere except Cuba and North Korea.

(Video) Chapter 5 International Trade Theory

Coca-Cola currently has over 900 bottling and manufacturing facilities worldwide, many of which are in North America, Asia, and Africa.

5. H-E-B

H-E-B is a popular American grocery company with more than 340 stores in Texas and northeast Mexico. It was founded by Florence Butt in 1905 and expanded into Mexico in 1997.

The primary driver of international expansion wasn’t a desire to capture greater market share, but rather, a desire to gain access to foreign produce markets in warmer climates, from which the company could source produce during its domestic suppliers’ off-season in the northeastern United States.

Craig Boyan, president of H-E-B, explains in Global Business that, upon becoming an international business, H-E-B bought blueberries from Chile and Peru to sell year-round. Despite it being expensive to ship blueberry crates to Texas, this enabled the company to continue meeting its customers’ needs. Since then, production has increased with demand, especially in Mexico, which has an ideal climate to produce blueberries year-round. H-E-B now sources blueberries mostly from Mexico, making them more available and affordable for customers.

What Do You Study in International Business?

Many businesses succeed by expanding their markets, production operations, and supply chains internationally. But doing so requires savvy business leadership bolstered by economic knowledge, an understanding of markets, and the ability to learn political and cultural trends.

Business professionals who have a successful career in international business need various skills and expertise. Acquiring these combined skills employers are looking for, along with international business experience, can lead to long-term career success. Some of these important skills include:


  • Strong communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Cultural awareness
  • Knowledge of finance and accounting
  • Entrepreneurship skills
  • Understanding of global economics

5 International Business Examples to Learn From (3)

Why Study International Business?

Regardless of the role, professionals must stay current on all business practices. A global business education provides a wide range of opportunities to create and capture value for organizations. To bring this value to the workplace, individuals need to understand the economic, political, and social factors that drive change and how decisions affect global markets.

Strategists and entrepreneurs should learn about the broader macroeconomic and political landscape of their organizations to grow their business internationally and manage global teams. Professionals in heavily regulated industries can also use this knowledge to develop approaches and frameworks to navigate their complex industries.

If you’re considering joining a global business or thinking about ways to expand your organization internationally, completing an online Global Business course is an excellent way to quickly gain those skills.

Are you interested in breaking into a global market? Sharpen your knowledge of the international business world with our four-week online course Global Business, and explore our other business in society courses.

This article was updated on July 19, 2022. It was originally published on June 29, 2021.

(Video) International Business ।। MBS 3rd semester || Unit One। #2


What is an example of international business? ›

1. Apple. Apple Inc., founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in the 1970s, is now considered one of the most influential international companies. Headquartered in the United States, Apple designs, develops, and sells electronics, software, streaming, and online services worldwide.

What I will learn in international business? ›

International business programmes give students an understanding of the different business management practices found all over the world, and prepare them for graduate careers working abroad or in organisations that are engaged in business on a global scale.

What are the 5 most successful businesses? ›

Most Profitable Business Ideas
  1. Business Consulting. If you're an expert in your industry and have been working at it for years, you should consider consulting. ...
  2. IT Support, Technology Consulting, and Repair. ...
  3. Cleaning Services. ...
  4. Accounting and Tax Preparation. ...
  5. Auto Repair. ...
  6. Real Estate.

What are the 6 forms of international business? ›

Some of the modes of entry into international business you can opt for include direct export, licensing, international agents and distributors, joint ventures, strategic alliance, and foreign direct investment.

What are the things that we can learn from business? ›

13 Great Lessons Learned in Business
  • It's all about healthy relationships. ...
  • People do a lot of things right on the way up. ...
  • There is no easy business. ...
  • Most people would rather not solve their problems. ...
  • Build a culture, not a company. ...
  • It still always comes back to The Six Key Components™. ...
  • Slow down to go fast.

What skills do you learn from business? ›

Essential business skills
  • Financial management. Being able to effectively manage your finances is critical. ...
  • Marketing, sales and customer service. ...
  • Communication and negotiation. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Project management and planning. ...
  • Delegation and time management. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Networking.

What are types of international business? ›

The four types of international businesses one can start are as follows: 1. Exporting 2. Licensing 3. Franchising 4.
4 Types of International Business: Are you ready to Start?
  • Exporting: ...
  • Licensing: ...
  • Franchising: ...
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):

What are the 4 international business approaches? ›

There are four main ways to break into the international market or enter at least one foreign market. These are the direct, indirect, hybrid and business acquisition approaches.

What are the 4 main elements of international business? ›

The four main elements of international business environments -
  • 1) Political Environment.
  • 2) Economic Environment.
  • 3)Technological Environment.
  • 4) Cultural Environment.
13 May 2018

What are the top 10 most successful businesses? ›

This can lower or even outweigh potential returns.
  • #1 Apple Inc. (AAPL)
  • #2 Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
  • #3 Industrial And Commercial Bank Of China Ltd. (IDCBY)
  • #4 China Construction Bank Corp. (CICHY)
  • #5 Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL)
  • #6 Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (ACGBY)
  • #7 JPMorgan Chase & Co. ...
  • #8 Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Which is the No 1 business in the world? ›

For instance, the largest company by market cap is Apple, while in terms of revenue, American multinational retailer Walmart ranks as the largest company in the world. Here are the world's top 10 companies by their market cap as of 2nd September 2022.

Is Google a international business? ›

Google LLC (/ˈɡuːɡəl/ ( listen)) is an American multinational technology company focusing on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and consumer electronics.

What are 5 examples of entrepreneurship? ›

Here, we'll discuss the five types of entrepreneurs and how their respective priorities and goals create unique businesses and distinctly affect consumers.
  • Social entrepreneurship. ...
  • Scalable startup entrepreneurship. ...
  • Small business entrepreneurship. ...
  • Large company entrepreneurship. ...
  • Innovation entrepreneurship.
21 Jan 2022

What are the 5 major types of businesses? ›

Review common business structures
  • Sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is easy to form and gives you complete control of your business. ...
  • Partnership. Partnerships are the simplest structure for two or more people to own a business together. ...
  • Limited liability company (LLC) ...
  • Corporation. ...
  • Cooperative.

What are the 3 most important things in business? ›

No matter how bold or ambitious your plans are to grow your business, the key to your business's success lies in three critical, interdependent components: operational excellence, customer relations/communications and financial management.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in doing business? ›

Hard work will always outweigh talent.

Hard work outweighs talent and intelligence and is necessary if you want to succeed. This not only means working hard when things are going well, but working harder when things are not. It means taking calculated risks and sticking to them, no matter how challenging they are.

What are five business skills? ›

A great entrepreneur must be able to effectively communicate, sell, focus, learn, and strategize.

Why is it important to learn in business? ›

Choosing a business degree will give you a good understanding of basic economic principles, how markets are affected by world events, and how to assess a firms' financial health. Combined, this can help you make better-informed investment decisions and ultimately, how to achieve a higher ROI.

What are the 8 types of businesses? ›

This is not a simple decision, however, so you would want to do your research and talk to legal and financial advisors before making that call.
  • Sole Proprietorship. ...
  • Partnerships. ...
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) ...
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) ...
  • Series LLC. ...
  • C Corporation. ...
  • S Corporation. ...
  • Nonprofit Corporation.
18 May 2022

Why should students study international business? ›

Studying International business will allow you to understand global issues, hence preparing you for diverse business opportunities and not limiting yourself to finding a job in your country of study alone, but rather opening up every country as a possible option for you to start your career.

What are the 3 basic strategies of international business? ›

Multinational corporations choose from among three basic international strategies: (1) multidomestic, (2) global, and (3) transnational. These strategies vary in their emphasis on achieving efficiency around the world and responding to local needs.

What 3 are the reasons for international business? ›

7 Reasons for International Trade
  • Reduced dependence on your local market. ...
  • Increased chances of success. ...
  • Increased efficiency. ...
  • Increased productivity. ...
  • Economic advantage. ...
  • Innovation.

What is opportunity in international business? ›

But the international business opportunities are there for companies interested in importing and exporting goods and services. By putting in some research into overseas markets and suppliers, companies can increase their growth and reduce costs.

What is the best international business strategy? ›

The best of both: Transnational strategy

While a global strategy may seem like the end-game, for many brands, the best choice is a transnational strategy, which splits the difference in terms of local responsiveness and global integration.

What is the easiest business in the world? ›

10 Business Ideas to Make Easy Money and Change the World
  • Educational blogging. ...
  • Teaching online. ...
  • Green app developer. ...
  • Uber driving. ...
  • Social crowdfunding. ...
  • Creating a betterment program. ...
  • Writing ebooks. ...
  • Create an educational travel company.
3 May 2019

What are the 5 features of international marketing? ›

International Marketing - Characteristics
  • Broader market is available. ...
  • Involves at least two set of uncontrollable variables. ...
  • Requires broader competence. ...
  • Competition is intense. ...
  • Involves high risk and challenges. ...
  • Large-scale operation. ...
  • Domination of multinationals and developed countries. ...
  • International restrictions.

What is the most successful company in the world 2022? ›

As of 2022, Apple, Saudi Aramco, and Microsoft hold the top three positions, each with market caps in excess of $2 trillion. Technology and energy companies rank among the most valuable companies in the world today.

What is the most famous business? ›

The Top 100 Companies of the World: Competition From China
#1AppleUnited States
#2Saudi AramcoSaudi Arabia
#3MicrosoftUnited States
#4AmazonUnited States
6 more rows
19 Jul 2021

Which business is growing fast in world? ›

The oil and gas exploration and production industry which is the fastest growing industry in the world expected to be driven by population increase, urbanization, growing living standards, and increasing economies around the world.

What is the strongest business in the world? ›

This list comprises the world's largest companies by consolidated revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 2022 rankings. American retail corporation Walmart has been the world's largest company by revenue since 2014.

What is the richest business on earth? ›

Top 12 Richest Companies In The World By Market Cap 2022. 1. Apple Inc. (AAPL) Market Cap – $2.65 Trillion: Apple develops, produces, and sells a wide variety of consumer technology products, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, wearable electronics, home entertainment gear, and more.

What is the most powerful business? ›

Apple Inc.

came out on top in Forbes' breakdown of “The World's Most Valuable Brands,” with its brand worth listed at $104.3 billion.

Is Apple an international business? ›

As a global technology company, Apple is committed to complying with all applicable trade regulations in all countries in which we operate, including, but not limited to, all export and sanctions regulations.

What is the 10 biggest company in the world? ›

This can lower or even outweigh potential returns.
  • #1 Walmart Inc. (WMT)
  • #2 China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP)
  • #3 Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
  • #4 PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR)
  • #5 Apple Inc. (AAPL)
  • #6 CVS Health Corp. (CVS)
  • #7 Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS. A)
  • #8 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK. A)

Is e-commerce an international business? ›

International e-commerce refers to the business of selling a product over the internet to buyers who live in foreign countries. There are practically no limits to where your company can expand its business, provided there is a market for your goods.

What is an example of international? ›

Between or among nations. An international treaty. Concerned with the relations between nations. An international court.

What is an example of international trade? ›

Almost every kind of product can be found in the international market, for example: food, clothes, spare parts, oil, jewellery, wine, stocks, currencies, and water. Services are also traded, such as in tourism, banking, consulting, and transportation.

What is an example of an international market? ›


Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands in the world and for good reasons. It's an excellent example of a brand with a brilliant international marketing strategy. The company gave local operations slack to adjust the soda's taste to fit the market's cultural preferences.

What are international resources 10 examples? ›

Answer: International Resources are resources that are governed by international organisations. For example, the open sea or ocean refers to the ocean and water beyond 200 miles of the Exclusive Economic Zone. Without the consent of international authorities, no country may use these resources.

Why should I study international business? ›

Studying International business will allow you to understand global issues, hence preparing you for diverse business opportunities and not limiting yourself to finding a job in your country of study alone, but rather opening up every country as a possible option for you to start your career.

What is international trade explain with two examples? ›

international trade, economic transactions that are made between countries. Among the items commonly traded are consumer goods, such as television sets and clothing; capital goods, such as machinery; and raw materials and food.

What are the 4 types of international trade? ›

International trade is simply the exchange of services and goods across various geographical borders. The types of international trade include inter-firm trade, intra-industry trade, intra-firm trade, inter-industry trade.

What are the 5 main reasons for international trade? ›

The five main reasons international trade takes place are differences in technology, differences in resource endowments, differences in demand, the presence of economies of scale, and the presence of government policies. Each model of trade generally includes just one motivation for trade.

What are the 3 types of international trade? ›

So, in this blog, we'll discuss the 3 different types of international trade – Export Trade, Import Trade and Entrepot Trade.
  • Export Trade. Export trade is when goods manufactured in a specific country are purchased by the residents of another country. ...
  • Import Trade. ...
  • Entrepot Trade.

What are the 5 most important decisions in international marketing? ›

  • Export​ - sell the product outside. ...
  • Import-​ foreign companies selling to domestic companies.
  • Embargo-​ trade with particular company.
  • Exchange​ control- the currency coming into a different country is ​limited.
  • Quota-​ limit on imports from a foreign country.

What are the 7 elements of international marketing? ›

Seven Elements of International Marketing
  • Research.
  • Infrastructure.
  • Product localization.
  • Marketing localization.
  • Communications.
  • Inbound marketing.
  • Outbound marketing.


1. International Business Module/ Ch.5 Part. 1
(Dr. Amer Al shishany)
2. Lysa TerKeurst on Leading Through Personal Crisis and Knowing When Good Boundaries Aren't Enough
(Carey Nieuwhof)
3. Imports, Exports, and Exchange Rates: Crash Course Economics #15
4. Lecture 01: Introduction to International Business
(IIT Roorkee July 2018)
5. 5 Best Social Media Practices in Direct Selling Right Now
(Direct Selling Accelerator)
6. SAP TechEd in 2022: Opening Keynote
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 01/30/2023

Views: 5782

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.