In an increasingly globalized world, itâ€™s more important than ever to look further afield for opportunities to expand your business. However, before you rush to capitalize on exciting international prospects for expansion, be sure to take the following four suggestions firmly into consideration.
Also see: How To Grow A Business Successfully?
Cultural Understanding: Before you even think of putting any practical considerations into action, put plenty of effort into understanding the cultural differences and idiosyncrasies within the foreign market youâ€™re entering. This applies for potential business partners as well as customers. This should also strongly influence your decision of where to expand, based on the nature of your company and its goals.
Basic questions to consider such as “is the cultural landscape compatible with our brand?â€ and â€œshould we adapt our internal processes, and how?â€ are vital to both the planning and implementation of your expansion. In practical terms, also be sure to employ a local representative at the very least â€“ having boots on the ground will prove indispensable.
Know Your Market: This goes hand in hand with cultural understanding â€“ just as the attitudes and perspectives of international markets will differ wildly, so too will the desires and behaviors of customers, and the competition. Ensure your market research is focused on understanding which aspects of your existing PR, marketing and sales approaches will be transferable from your home nation, and how you may need to adapt to be relevant and attractive internationally.
Just as you would market back home, tailor your approach so as not to fall into the trap of believing successful strategies look the same within any environment.
Strategy and Risk Assessment: There are many different methods to enter international markets, depending on the type of business and type of risk you are willing to undertake. Commonly, this involves the exporting of goods or services, either directly through a sales rep or distributor in your target market or indirectly through a broker, essentially a middle man.
The key is to ensure your chosen strategy is based on a thoroughly considered and honest appraisal of your companyâ€™s capacities â€“ avoid putting the cart before the horse.
Online Presence: Such a simple step as having a local domain name really helps to boost your credibility in that region and thus confidence in your brand. Letâ€™s suppose youâ€™re a foreign firm looking to tap into the considerable potential of the Indian market by picking up an .in domain with 1&1 for example.
Consumers and partners in India will naturally feel more at ease when exploring your business via a locally based website than a foreign one.