Tech and digital advancements have enabled entrepreneurs and businesses everywhere to step up their game and work on a global scale. No more physical, geographical boundaries or limiting your operations to localized clients when you can have access to a worldwide customer base. With that in mind, so many companies rush to impress their potential global audience that they forget about certain issues that stand in their way, despite all the tech that simplifies the entire process of expansion.
Despite all the perks that come with reaching a wider audience and working on an international scale, being mindful of potential setbacks and proper preparation are the two of the most pivotal issues to keep in mind when embarking on this journey. Is the timing right? Do you understand the target audience? What about the language barrier? Let’s take a look at a few handy tips you can use to your advantage when you decide that the time is right to spread your business wings.
Brace your business for the expansion
Before you start the process, make sure that your everyday operations in your current market will not suffer as a result. There’s no room for delayed shipments, poor customer service, employees leaving your side, and other issues, since you’ll be investing your heart and soul into finding ways to manage the expansion itself. That’s why you should keep the following in mind:
- Does your budget cover the needs of the expansion? If not, look into capital options abroad in the countries you aim to enter, as local economic growth might be supported by the government, so funding could be available.
- Do you have employees ready for the endeavor? You’ll need inhouse teams to tackle marketing, recruitment, negotiations, and other aspects of the expansion.
- Have you conducted the research that will serve you as the basis of the process? You need data to fuel the expansion. From customer data all the way to competitor information, knowledge really is power.
Bridge the local trend gap
Is your brand ready to enter a completely different market and successfully dazzle the new crowd? Since your brand has come to life in a particular market, you need to be aware of the changes you should make in order to adapt your business to a new target audience and their needs. For instance, many western businesses are looking to expand into the Asian market, with the number of expats growing, but the local culture remains prominent and dominant.
To successfully penetrate a new market with a vastly different culture, keeping an eye on local platforms such as Week in China can make all the difference in helping you stay in the know with the local trends. As an example from one of their own articles, the language barrier is one of those major hurdles experienced by local expats purchasing from Chinese-only sites, whereas overseas brands often find themselves in need of a way to translate not just the wording, but the brand itself into the local language of choice. In essence, understanding the driving force of a given market can make or break your expansion efforts.
Find reputable partners
From employees to investors, manufacturers, and suppliers, partners in your target markets are invaluable allies when the time comes for you to expand your business. Collaborate with the wrong people, and you risk jeopardizing your reputation in the eyes of your new audience.
Start networking as early as possible, and take your time when you’re hunting for local partners. You should find others who’ve had a chance to collaborate with them and only then determine if they are a good match for your business and if you can trust them with a portion of your expansion efforts.
Start small, think big
No matter how infinitely you believe in the quality and purpose of your service or product, the entire world might not agree with you. To test the waters, in addition to conducting thorough research, try feeling out the new territory by expanding with a single, isolated product or service, depending on the needs of that market. This is an excellent way to control your expenses and your budget, see how the new audience will perceive your brand, and start paving the road for all other offers you plan for the new market.
It takes time, effort, and sizeable investments to succeed in a single market, let alone in a multitude of culturally diverse environments. Give your brand a chance with the help of preparing and strategizing, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll slowly win over the hearts of your new audiences around the globe.
Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.