Going Global - Making the Leap Across the Pond
If you are a business owner, then you know there are always ways for you to improve on or expand your business. One major expansion option is to take your company global. Entrepreneur.com states, “You can extend the sales life of existing products and services by finding new markets to sell them in. Doing this provides new markets to sell services and products, in turn extending their sales lives.” This process also provides many opportunities for growth throughout the company because simply by taking it to different countries you’re able to rely less on the markets you’ve already developed. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of going global is the opportunity for you to learn from the successes of other global companies who have made the leap across the pond and how to improve your company. It’s not a simple decision to make, but if you think the time is right, there are a few steps that might make the process of taking your business global a much easier process. Here are a few tips:
Step 1. Research Your Market
First and foremost, find out which market would be the best for your product. You should also keep in mind that you want to pick a market that you don’t mind visiting as it will obviously be harder to run your business in another market if you’re not actually ever there. Once you choose your market, work on discovering its exact needs, and study the demographic. Decide on the best possible way to introduce your product; whether it’s something new, or something slightly different, advertisement is key. You might need to slightly alter your product so that it can be as successful as possible in the new market and customer base. Another key component is deciding what price point would give you the greatest chance for success. Keep in mind that just because something has been successful in the markets you’ve worked in previously, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be successful in other markets.
Step 2. Set Goals for Your Success
Set goals for your company, as well as for yourself. You should consider where you might want your company to be in 10 years, and work towards accomplishing that. Setting short-term goals for your business makes reaching your bigger goals seem like a more achievable possibility.
Step 3. Plan Ahead
Plan out the moves you need to make so you can spend less time making them. If you know exactly what you’re going to do, as well as HOW you’re going to do it, the process will be much quicker and smoother with fewer snags along the way.
Step 4. Be Focused
Focus on what goals you wish to accomplish, as well as which markets you wish to approach. Forbes.com says, “As a small business with limited resources, chasing down any and every market opportunity that seems attractive is not an option.” In order to optimize company growth, make sure that your new market has at least one of the following:
- A larger customer base
- Cheaper labor or material
- Laws or regulations that might make it easier to produce or sell the product
Step 5. Budget
Find ways to cut corners in product cost and production without losing quality. If you’re able to outsource jobs, you might be able to save big on production. You’ll also be making plenty of business trips to the new market, so make sure that you budget these trips properly.
Step 6. Be Multilingual
According to Forbes, one of the biggest challenges with working in another country is a language barrier. Of course, you could work through interpreters, but if you’re able to speak the language yourself, you can understand a lot more, and you’ll be able to connect to your demographic on a more personal level.
Step 7. Create a Website
The Internet is worldwide, so use it to your advantage. It will be easier for you to reach your target demographic, no matter where they’re located, if they can access and purchase your service or product from your website. After all, technically, once you have a website you are already global! How you capitalize on that is up to you.
Bottom line: If expansion is your objective, there's no way around it. In order to stay competitive, you must go global, or go home.