8 Steps to Growth Internationally
To continue the growth of your business you can create a new product/service, increase your market penetration, or enter a new market. Entering a new international market gives your company access to new customers, which can positively increase company revenue.
To compliantly sell your product or service in a new international market, you will need to put together an international strategy. For a successful international expansion, keep these ten eight in mind when crafting your strategy.
Develop a game plan
Formulating a strategy for going global requires the same kind of planning and market analysis needed for success in domestic markets. There are also some nuances that factor into the equation, such as logistics, customs duties and currency conversion. But the good news is that there are a number of free or inexpensive resources available to help you get started.
Hire a market-research firm
After developing a plan, you have to consider which market to enter is to hire an experienced and reputable market-research firm. Just because an overseas market might be hot, it may not be home to the customers you want to reach.
With a market-research firm, you’ll be able to decide whether your business will be well received in that area and whether or not there’s a market for your services and products at all.
The firm will also help you determine how your brand will transfer into the foreign culture, in addition to enabling you to explore current market needs and existing competition. For most business owners, this type of research is very difficult to do and often overlooked, so it’s smart to hire professionals
Be culturally sensitive
Prepare content that is culturally sensitive to particular areas. As with all content, whether it’s a landing page or website, engaging with your customer is crucial. You must understand how to engage your target audience.
You cannot assume that what works at home will work abroad because creating an emotional connection in a global context is challenging. Use visuals and content that resonate with the culture and its various nuances.
Visit each country and start establishing personal relationships
While more people enjoy the convenience of doing business online with companies all over the world, it doesn’t replace the face time that is necessary to build personal relationships and trust. Visiting each country where you plan to do business also helps you gain a better understanding of who you are working with, including interacting with outsourced staff, vendors and partners, customers and the media.
Show some pics on your site with local people showing you sharing their customs with appreciation.
Plan Your international organizational structure
Entering one or more international markets will affect your organizational structure. A proactive plan will keep your staff focused on their individual responsibilities and promote efficient work. Consider how you will staff for each new market and how teams from different markets will communicate to share ideas.
Test your strategy in a single market with low barriers to entry
For example, U.S. companies often start expanding internationally by exporting to Canada. Geographic proximity, along with cultural and language similarities, help make Canada a good proving ground for American companies venturing across the border for the first time. Regardless of which market you plan to enter first, set realistic goals and take baby steps first.
Some countries are known for being highly litigious, so it is critical that strong legal processes are put in place to minimize unnecessary commercial risks. Also, government agencies have strict requirements that necessitates legal documentation be in place prior to operating within the country. Being proactive does require money upfront, but this more than offsets downstream risks and liabilities.
Prepare your final budget preparation
Results from the above steps should provide sufficient data for stakeholders of the foreign company to develop a final budget that is aggressive yet attainable, and one that will be owned by your local team.
Expanding your business overseas is not for the fainthearted, but for most businesses it will be inevitable as global markets offer greater opportunities for growth. By paying attention to details and outsourcing administrative functions, the difficult job of “going global” can produce great results.