More than 66% of US companies have a global presence. Thanks to technology and a more interconnected world, it is now easier than ever to expand your business into international markets. Expanding overseas is integral to finding growth opportunities and new customers and for the longevity of your business.
When starting in foreign markets, these are the things you need to consider.
1. Do Your Market Research
Starting a business in another country can be tricky. You can’t do it until you understand the ins and outs of the new region. Do you know your demographic, who the target audience is in the new market?
Do you need to adapt your product to the market you want to enter? Are there enough customers in the new territory to make the expansion worthwhile? Consider the growth opportunities and have a solid financial plan for how to expand your business.
Turning your business into a global business can be costly, so make sure you understand all the costs involved. Will this new market give you adequate returns?
2. Know Your Competitors
Companies may sell the same product or service as you in the new region you want to enter. Ensure you conduct a full competitor analysis. Know your positioning in the new market and how you can market your company.
3. Understand the Regulations Of International Markets
Tax, compliance, and legal issues can be problematic in a country or region you are not familiar with. Navigating all the new rules can be time-consuming and costly to your business. You can solve this by hiring local team members who understand the systems’ complexities and advise you on expanding your business in their country.
4. Understand the Language and Culture
To be successful in international business, you’ll need to localize. This means translating your website, your marketing materials, your packaging. Start with languages that are widely spoken in the area you intend to expand into. In Latin America, everything will need to be in Spanish. In Europe, the most commonly spoken native language is German.
Having everything in German will be integral to success in Europe. You can use a German translation service to translate all your materials for a smoother process.
As well as having everything available in local languages, you will need to understand some customs and culture. This will ensure you don’t do anything culturally inappropriate in your marketing materials. You will also be able to do business with local partners more effectively.
5. Build Local Partnerships
Having local partners will make your expansion smoother and more rapid. They will better understand the local market than you do and help with everything from logistics to local employees’ hiring. With local partners, you will have an easier job of penetrating a new market.
Most Importantly, Be Flexible
Without flexibility, growing into international markets will be more difficult. While expanding, problems will inevitably arise- you will need to be flexible to find solutions. Each of the above tips requires flexibility. Being flexible also means you can pivot in a different direction should you need to. This will be integral to the long-term success of your business.
For more advice on how to grow your business, take a look at some of the other articles on the site.