If you believe that your company can offer its products or services to audiences from abroad, it’s time you took some steps to take your business global. This venture is, of course, full of obstacles and the further you go, the more effort you have to invest. However, with the increased effort, comes a much greater potential to place your offer.
Needless to say, a project of such complexity and importance requires a lot of meticulous preparation. You need to be ready to invest both financial and human resources in creating the best possible strategy for entering foreign markets. In order to help you achieve your goal, we’ve prepared some tips that have helped many companies expand their business around the globe.
1. Select your markets
With so many countries in the world, choosing a location where you will find sufficient demand for your offer is not an easy task. The safest option is usually to target the countries closest to you first, so you gain enough experience and power to continue conquering other markets. The reasons are quite simple: the shipping costs will be lower, which will keep the price of your products lower. Plus, your good reputation may have already reached the neighbouring countries, which will make it easier for you to place your offer.
Another element that you need to consider when targeting global markets is the language. If you come from an English-speaking country, you might want to target other countries where the same language is spoken. Finally, you need to think about the markets where you can realistically expect the highest demand for your products.
2. Choose your structure
Your next step should be to decide whether to open offices in the countries you’re expanding to or conduct business through distributors and representatives. There’s also an option to find a partner that already has access to your target audience.
The structure of your business will depend on the market conditions in the country you’d like to enter, which means you need to be very familiar with local legal regulations, laws, and taxes. If you are thinking about entering the Australian market, you might want to consult experts, such as this experienced Parramatta solicitor, who can provide you with relevant information, such as what your obligations are when it comes to training Austrian employees, for example.
3. Localize marketing efforts
Unfortunately, there is no “one-strategy-fits-all-countries” option when it comes to going global. Instead, you really need to tailor your marketing strategy for each country separately, bearing in mind the local culture and trends.
Again, it might be a good idea to hire a local marketing agency to help you organize your campaign, conduct market research, and perhaps even introduce you to some local companies, with which you can establish a business cooperation. Finally, you need to be aware of what kind of competition you’ll be facing and how to beat them.
4. Know the language
If the market of your choice is one where a different language is spoken, you can’t expect any success unless you offer content in the local language. You’ll have to have your website translated in the languages spoken in your new markets and you need to have it done before you start conducting business there.
5. Visit new markets
It’s unrealistic to believe that you can be successful abroad if you’ve never actually been there and established personal relationships with those who will be promoting your offer there. Not only will you have a much better insight into the local situation and culture, but you’ll also send your local partners a signal that you really care about how your business will develop.
You should try to meet all those involved in the business process, from outsourced staff and vendors to customers and media. Don’t forget to record those visits and post pictures from your visits on your website.
6. Trade Show
Another useful tip is to check if there are any international trade shows for your industry, where you could take part in and represent your brand. Not only would you be able to meet new clients, but it would also give you a good insight into what your competition is doing and how the latest trends in the industry are developing.
Just meeting people face to face will give you an advantage over those who wish to establish business connections online. The importance of trade shows is still quite big, despite what some people might think. This, however, may work better in some countries than the others, but if you’ve done your homework, you will know what benefits you can expect from your appearance at trade shows.
7. International marketing strategies
The fact that you’ll have a specific, targeted marketing campaign for your business in each country doesn’t mean you should neglect the global aspect of your expansion.
Use all the social media platforms to spread the word of your new endeavour and raise the awareness of your brand internationally. You may not directly attract new clients, but you’re bound to boost the image of your company.
8. Organize a billing and payment system for international customers
What was once a major obstacle for companies that were trying to enter foreign markets is no longer a big issue. New billing and payment tools make it easy to conduct business with international clients. You no longer have problems issuing invoices in different languages and currencies, which include all the relevant taxes and fees.
There are also simple and affordable international credit card processing solutions, which will help you reach a much wider audience. However, make sure your system is well-tested and fully functional before you announce it.
As you can see, it’s quite a challenge to expand your business outside the borders of your country, but with major breakthroughs in various industries, primarily IT, it is now much easier to create a secure and convenient environment in which you can work and place your offer. However, every step you take needs to be carefully planned and tested before going public, since you don’t want to leave a bad first impression among new, foreign clients.
About the author: Carolin Petterson is a businesswoman and content marketer with years of experience under her belt. She has had the opportunity to contribute to a number of popular business and marketing websites.