Expanding your business into overseas markets may be a long-cherished dream of yours, but when doing so, you shouldn’t presume that your success at home will automatically translate into success elsewhere.
Follow these 10 tips to ensure that you do well in new markets.
1. Ensure stability back home
You should ensure that your business is already thriving in its current market, before going to the effort of targeting overseas business. Expanding a business is a time-consuming and sometimes risky undertaking, so you need to be sure that the business has first established the strongest possible foundations in its original territory.
2. Know your company
Maintain a clear understanding of your company and the industry in which it operates. Is it fit for a global market? Consider whether or not the resources that you require are going to be readily available to make international selling a viable option.
3. Find out how your business model translates
You need to think about how your business translates into different cultures. Everything from the pitch to the business model that you adopt should be adapted to the market in question.
4. Research target markets
You’re going to be dealing with a much larger market now that your business is expanding, so don’t cut corners when carrying out research. You need to thoroughly research your new demographic to ascertain the viability of global operations.
5. Develop a business plan
You would have started your business with a clear business plan, but as with the pitch, it may need to be tweaked to remain relevant and effective as you take on different markets. You should account for additional marketing and shipping costs, for example, as well as different import and export pricing strategies.
6. Determine what means ‘yes’
Certain cultures have different ways of expressing themselves, especially in the world of business, as the Passport to Trade 2.0 site explains. Don’t automatically presume that a positive phrase such as “we like it” means that your business appeals to your prospective overseas investors.
7. Establishing good contact with all countries
Even if your business predominantly operates online, you will still need a phone number for clients and customers to contact you. Consider opting for a good-value business calls package that doesn’t require a PIN, such as that offered by Planet Numbers, to give you access to cheap rate calls across the globe.
8. Decide on your headquarters
Wherever you want to expand your business, you should consider where the best location is for your headquarters. Office space may be more expensive in other countries, but if much of your business requires you to meet with people in that country, it could save you a lot of money associated with constant international travel.
9. Invest big
There’s no way around it – expanding your business internationally is expensive. You will need to invest a great deal of money into pulling it off, and attempting to cut corners with this kind of endeavour can often come back to haunt you later. For example, certain countries have more expensive legal fees, salaries and other costs that should be considered when expanding.
10. Keep hold of past successes
Although you need to translate your ideas and ambitions for different markets, you also shouldn’t completely abandon what made your business a success in its original territory. When you pitch your business’s offerings in a way that is based on your past successes, you can maximise your chances of also doing well in any new market.