(This is a contributed post)
The market where you live, for instance America, is large. But if you are an entrepreneur that is looking to boost your business and really grow it, even a market like that will not be enough for them. For these business owners that are really focused on growing your business, then the rest of the world is something that will be right on their minds. When you look to grow internationally, there can be plenty of offers and opportunities for growth.
There are plenty of advantages that come from a global business growing globally, and they can include:
- You can easily extend the life of existing products and services when you seek out new markets to sell them. If your product has been out for a while in your home country, it may seem a little tired. But for a new market, it can be really exciting.
- You will be likely to reduce how dependant you are on the markets that you have already developed.
- If your business is hindered by the fluctuations in your current markets because of things like seasonal changes or different cycles for demand, then you can more easily even out your sales by tapping into new markets with different trends or even have different seasonal fluctuations.
- Being able to use and make the most of corporate technology and some know-how in other areas can be a massive help for business.
- By entering into the international market, you will learn how to easily compete against other companies, and can really compete and boost your business.
There may be an overriding reason to take your business globally, and that may be to improve the potential for expansion and growth for your business. The obvious opportunities for growth are going to be in larger markets, other than your current one, in places like Europe, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Just have a look at a map and you will find a place or opportunity to sell as there can be demand for what you do all over the world. It isn’t going to be an easy process, of course. But there are some of the things that you can do to get yourself started.
If you are looking to take the leap into going global, as the benefits really are obvious. Then here are some of the questions that you need to make sure that you are asking yourself.
- Think about market research; will the product sell well in a different market or targeted country? The good news is that most products and services from places like the US and UK are mostly embraced overseas. But you need to be specific about the country that you are looking to launch into, as cultural things can make a difference. If, for example, your business is a dairy-based product, then would it work well in a place where dairy isn’t really consumed very much, or lactose-intolerance is high?
- Is the target market that you are looking to go into familiar with your business already and what you do? If the answer is no to that, then you should be prepared to invest time and money to help the consumers. On the other hand, if you are going to be the first to bring into something new or a new concept, then it can help your business to become known with the product or service.
- Do you feel comfortable in the country that you are planning to launch into? You are likely to have to visit a lot or perhaps even live there temporarily in the early stages of launching. And that isn’t going to work well if you feel uncomfortable and don’t even know the language. There are things like Linguistico translation service that you could use to help you to translate things, as well as connecting with local people to help you to understand the culture of the country.
- What is the business or production infrastructure like in that country? Will you be able to get the support that you are used to? What are the transports logistics in the country. For example, just something so simple as how well are the roads? Small things like this are really important as they can hinder the day to day running of the business.
If you are looking at these questions, with a specific country in mind, and the answers aren’t coming, then it may be that you just haven’t chosen the right place to launch. So it might mean that you just need to think about a few different countries to find which will be right for you and your business.
Pitfalls of Exporting Globally
Going global for your business can bring with it some peril, as it can mean some things are new and unknown, and as a result, bring with them some risks. It may be that you are chasing many opportunities but then get stuck with the fluctuations with foreign currency that can impact your bottom line. It could be all about international expansion that bring with it some threats that you will have not encountered until now. So you need to make sure that you avoid the pitfalls of going global to really help it to be success. Here are some of the things to be looking out for.
- If you fail to plan a launch strategy, then it can be a real problem for small businesses. It will take you time to remove yourself from the problems that can occur as a result of not planning correctly, than it would if you just launched it right in the first place.
- Having to chase inquiries for your business all over the world is one pitfall to be avoiding. There may be some countries that you think your business could all work well, and some of them may show your business interest. But just because there is interest, then it doesn’t mean that you have to go straight to that country necessarily. Being patient is really key, rather than the pitfall of rushing into something, just because there is interest.
- Don’t assume that just because your business is doing well in the country that you are living in, that it is going to work well in other places. So you need to think about tailoring your business and marketing efforts to each country that you plan to launch in. So don’t ignore the many cultural differences that help to shape the market in new areas. This will all be relevant to things like pricing, payments, shipping, and even something like packaging.
- Don’t just assume that business will have to be done in English. Learn the local language, or at least at a level where you are conversational. There are translation services that you can use, as well as local people that you could use as a contractor to help. If you just swan in and think that you’ll be able to launch your business in a country and can’t speak a lick of their language, then it does look really bad and is the height of ignorance.
Understanding Another Culture
On a similar note to the language and being ignorant to other cultures, one of the main differences in doing business globally is culture. In fact, there is research by Etiquette International that has found out that only twenty-five percent of business ventures that go abroad are successful. A lot of this could be down to not doing homework, not speaking the language, and not looking into how business is done in a different country. So here are some of the things that you need to be doing to help establish relationships in a different country and how you can better understand the culture.
- Don’t impose time limits on yourself. You don’t want to rush a business launch just because you need to get it done by a certain time (or you think you need to get it done by a certain time). Keeps things open and be flexible.
- Make sure that you do plenty of research. Learn a few pointers about the country that you are planning to launch into. This, along with a basic understanding of the language can really be helpful.
- Understanding body language is imperative when you don’t fully speak the language. It can help you to gauge how things are going, and what is or isn’t acceptable in cultures that are different to your own.
- Something that is quite obvious, and pretty self-explanatory, but that is all about making sure that you are dressing in a respectful way in the country and culture that you are in.
- Look to build relationships with people before just launching into the business spiel. It could start with small talk and looking for things that you have in common, but it can be important to build for a foundation for your business in that country.
Expanding internationally is not always going to help to be the best way to grow your business. But it can really boost your business potential if you do things in the right way. It is a walk and not a run, though, so think carefully about taking the right steps to going global.