Going Global: How to Grow Your Business Internationally
The idea of taking your business into the international arena is exciting, especially when there aren’t any apparent repercussions. However, it can be tricky if you don’t plan the move correctly. Global expansion provides business owners an excellent opportunity to increase brand awareness and tap into a vast audience for more profits. But there is a catch: entering a new market means your business’s investments are constantly at the risk of plummeting down with only one wrong move.
Most of the time, business owners jump at the opportunity to take their business global without considering whether the company can handle the risk or not. According to recently published statistical data, an average online shopper makes one international purchase per year in the USA, despite over a million international businesses in the American market. Just because you think your product will appeal to the global audience does not mean it actually will. Moreover, the inability to predict the market dynamics, economic trends, or consumer behavior leads businesses to peter out altogether.
It is true that not every company is fit for this feat, but most of them are. Before you abandon the plan of expanding your business to international markets, test the waters by conducting thorough research on the latest global trends, legalities, and target markets. You can even hire expert research agencies to do the job for you. With that said, here are some ways to prepare you for a global expansion and ensure a smooth transition of your business from local to international markets.
1 – Leverage influencer relationships in the foreign market
Before you set off on establishing a global presence, conduct thorough research of your respective industry in the country you want to take your business to. It includes gathering information about influencers within your niche and eventually building long-lasting symbiotic partnerships with them. With the experience and expertise in a specific niche, they can serve as mentors and guide you to make the right strategies for your business abroad.
Similarly, as the business CEO, you must have a good grasp of market dynamics and the international business environment. You can gain or polish this knowledge through research or a quick academic qualification with a low entry barrier. An online MBA no GMAT required is an excellent choice; the option to learn across a distance will be feasible considering that you might be traveling a lot.
2 – Assess your capital
The idea of targeting a wider audience and creating a buzz for your brand in the international market sounds brilliant. However, it demands backbreaking efforts and fool-proof planning. For instance, you would need sufficient capital to ensure your success and stability in the long run. Not only need capital to establish your entity on new land, but you must have enough money to back you up if things go haywire. Also, business expansions require substantial investment in setting up infrastructure, hiring more employees, producing more products, and additional marketing costs. And these are only some of the expenses your business will incur.
Don’t despair if you lack the initial capital to develop a long-term financial plan. Instead, shortlist potential investors, both in your country of origin and the country you want to enter, to generate enough capital.
3 – Hire a market-research firm
While planning to grow your business internationally, it is essential to perform thorough market research to identify potential customers. Market research will also help you determine whether your choice of country is correct or not. Often the idea of global expansion seems attractive only until businesses realize that the market they’re eyeing is saturated or does not have a sustainable demand for the product.
A credible market research firm will help you decide which market to target initially and the right way to go about it. International market research firms consist of professionals familiar with the ins and outs of a specific market! Also, with their extensive knowledge and forecast abilities, they curate the most effective region-oriented marketing strategies.
Similarly, they will guide your business through the process of adapting to the new culture, enabling you to convey your value proposition efficiently. Comprehensive market research takes a decent bit of time to cover all vital aspects of preparing an appropriate marketing mix. Therefore, you must take caution while planning each component.
4 – Identify and evaluate your risks
Identifying the root of any potential risk you might face is the first and perhaps the most essential component of successful risk management. The entire process involves creating a comprehensive list of possible threats and developing ways to tackle them timely. Also, it would be wise to identify the opportunities the new market presents to mitigate risk and achieve business objectives. If an organization fails to determine the risk, there’s no chance of managing it properly.
Also, it is equally crucial to scan the environment from time to time to tackle any new emerging risks. These can come in the form of changing market dynamics and somewhat predictable natural calamities. It is impossible to sustain stable growth if you do not prepare for risks in advance. Therefore, always have a contingency plan ready.
5 – Benchmark
Benchmarking is the process of comparing the time cycle, cost, quality, and productivity of specific methods or techniques in any industry. Many consider it as one of the best practices in maintaining market standards. Essentially, benchmarking provides companies with a picture of the overall performance of the business. It also helps in understanding the relation of a company with a specific set of standards. Often, the outcome is in the form of a business is making changes to increase efficiency in daily operations.
If you are considering taking your business global, have an open-minded approach to ensure success. You might need slight or several modifications in your business processes or products/services to set foot in a new region. Similarly, to sustain your growth in the global markets, it is imperative to encourage innovation at every scale of your organization. Today, business values, technology, and ideas are evolving at an unprecedented pace. Hence, it is vital to maintain a highly flexible and adaptive approach while growing your business internationally.