For many companies, going global is a graduation ceremony of sorts. They are leaving familiar territory and wading into unknown waters in search of new opportunities. The decision to expand to other countries is not one that should be taken lightly, but once your mind is made up, you should not neglect to learn everything you need to thrive abroad. Hopefully, the tips that we offer below will provide some insights for your endeavor.
1. Build a solid business plan based on data
It is foolish to think that the exact same strategy you applied in your domestic market will work the same in new countries, so you should take the proper time to tailor it to the new market, or perhaps choose a new strategy altogether. These decisions should be made based on research of the existing market.
Remember, you are likely entering a market as a newcomer with several well-known players ready to dominate you if you show weakness. Thus, you should first find out what appeals to people in the new market and how they respond to different marketing/advertising campaigns before you even try to make your first sale abroad.
2. Consider cultural peculiarities
The new market that you will be targeting will have consumers different from the ones that you are used to – with different ethnicities, buying power, preferences, and cultural peculiarities. All of these unique indicators should be factored into your strategy so the people feel like you are speaking to them in a language that they understand.
On the topic of languages, it is also crucial to translate and localise your website and other text materials for other regions, so their inhabitants understand who you are, what you are selling, and why it is good. A company like Global Lingo can help with that.
3. Solve the question of exporting
Whether you are planning to export your products or set up foreign subsidiaries to handle production abroad, distribution and cost management are key issues for you to tackle. Your supply chain will abroad will likely be highly dependent on local distributors and property owners, so you will want to cut favorable deals with them to keep costs down. After all, if you set up a good network for transporting and selling your products, it will be all for nothing if your product is too expensive to appeal to consumers and is outflanked by cheaper competitors.
4. Be prudent about funding
Some companies take a safe approach when it comes to funding, and rely on their own business model when going global. However, this approach turns away numerous easy and convenient sources of funding that often become available when you go global. Just as your domestic government may be interested in boosting exports through supplemental funding, the countries that you are expanding to can be interested in creating new jobs, and provide certain incentives for newcomers.
5. Stay flexible
Even with an ironclad strategy, you may face situations and circumstances that you did not expect, and it is important to adapt to them quickly. You should keep an open mind about updating your business practices and mindset in a new market if you find that what you currently have is not working, or working not as well as it should be.