Are you looking to expand your business globally in an attempt to reach the international market and earn higher revenues? Thanks to the prevalence of the Internet and other technological advancements, expanding globally has become an easier, more achievable task for businesses.
However, growing your business beyond your local shores also comes with challenges. For starters, you need to consider time differences and language barriers. This will require you to build and implement a completely different business model – something that’ll require time, money, and effort from your business.
To ensure success as you expand your business globally, take note of these tips:
1. Conduct In-Depth Research
Performing extensive market research should be on top of your to-do list before expanding your business globally. Going global without determining whether your target area is in need of your products or services is a recipe for failure.
Start by learning about your target audience. For example, if you want to expand your business to the Netherlands, spend time and effort acquiring consumer market insights for the Netherlands. Aside from knowing who your target audience is, the information you can gain from research helps you determine their needs, spending habits, and preferred marketing method.
Don’t forget to research the local competition, as well. Who are the biggest players in your target area? How are their products or services similar to yours? Is the local market saturated with household brands, or is there still room enough for your business to grow?
Examine the local market thoroughly before going global. In this way, you can properly formulate business strategies that will enable your business to generate international appeal.
2. Educate Yourself on the Rules and Regulations of the Target Country
The rules and regulations governing your place of business aren’t always the same in other countries. Countries have different sets of compliance laws that businesses need to adhere to, so make sure to learn all of these before expanding your business.
For instance, if you want to expand your business to China, you need to fully understand the role of government in businesses. Unlike other Western countries, the Chinese government plays a substantial role in businesses. In this country, almost 80% of assets are owned by the government, while most assets are usually owned privately in the United States.
It’s also essential to educate yourself on the rules for patents and trademarks to avoid any violations and penalties. Conduct a series of quality assurance testing to ensure that your products meet the standards set by the local authorities.
3. Localise Your Products
Your attempt to go global won’t haul in customers or revenues if the local market feels alienated from your offerings. Products that don’t appeal to the local market aren’t saleable, meaning they’ll end up being stale on shelves and in stores.
Localising your products is an excellent way of attracting the locals. They’ll likely buy from your brand if they find your offerings more relatable.
There are many ways to localise your products. For one, you can use imagery by using clothing models from the same region that your business is expanding into. You can also make colour changes to your logo or packaging, as different countries have different connotations on colours. For example, yellow is linked to happiness, glory, and harmony in many Asian countries, while Russia uses the colour to represent mental hospitals (mental hospitals are called yellow houses in this country).
4. Foster Local Relationships
Fostering relationships with local entrepreneurs can become your key to success when expanding globally. The relationship you’ll build with other entrepreneurs can help you fully understand the business arena, especially how your target market and competitors behave.
Before you offer products and services to a new country, reach out to entrepreneurs who can help your business. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce company, partner with well-known and established brick-and-mortar stores that complement your offerings. This allows you to tap into their existing network that you otherwise won’t have any access to.
Creating alliances with local entrepreneurs can help your business improve its existing strategies to better fit the demands of the local market while reducing financial risks. Prioritise partnering with experts in the industry, so you can have better insights into the local market.
5. Analyse and Improve Your Marketing Strategies
The marketing campaign that worked well with your existing customers in your original place of business won’t always reap the same results when used internationally. The consumers in your target area have different needs and wants, which means that they also prefer a different marketing campaign.
Examine your existing marketing campaign and assess if it matches the preferences of your new target audience. Are your ads still applicable to foreign consumers? Do they compete well with ads of your potential competitors? Learn about the most successful marketing tactics in your target area and use that information to craft your own.
If you’re planning to sell different products to a new country, it’s best to focus on marketing one product first. Ideally, you should choose the product that has the highest market potential and invest all of your marketing efforts in advertising it. Taking this route enables you to determine which marketing tactics appeal the most to the locals, making it easier to determine which tactics to use (and not use) as you market other products in the long run.
Slow and Steady Is the Best Way to Go
Going global is a huge milestone, but doing it unprepared can snowball into bigger problems, which can affect all areas of your business. Diving into the global market without any key strategies in mind can adversely affect your branding, operations, marketing, and capital.
Take your time and implement the tips mentioned in this article before you expand globally. Never rush to expand your business unless you’re fully prepared, as this will certainly lead to financial losses and issues that might cause your business to stop its operations.