The United States leads the business world. It is a huge market, but it is not big enough for some global minded entrepreneurs. These individuals are looking for international growth as a way of helping them extend the sales life of the products and services they offer while simultaneously identifying new markets to sell their products in. Small businesses especially may struggle when it comes to expanding to such a large global market, but there are many ways to do so. Here are a few ways small businesses can expand into international markets.
Before Going Global, Ask Yourself A Few Questions
Business in the United States is risky enough. International business is full of unforeseen challenges. Ask yourself how well the product or service you sell will work in your target culture. The answer may require market research. A positive thing is that American products sell well overseas.
How familiar is your target market with the product or service you offer? If they are not familiar with it, you should be prepared to invest time and money not only in marketing but also in educating consumers. On a positive note, if you are able to introduce an exciting and new concept into a market, then that product or service becomes synonymous with your business.
Be Realistic about Potential Pitfalls
Going international offers promise, but it has a hefty amount of peril. Chasing too many opportunities, currency fluctuations, and government instability are challenges that are not usually seen in domestic business in the US.
You can avoid these pitfalls by creating a clear strategy. Small businesses fall into the trap of jumping into something and then needing to extract themselves from problems they have created internationally as opposed to planning and doing it right the first time. Companies that offer fuzzy name matching services make the strategizing process easier by providing you with concrete information on the people and businesses you are working with around the world.
A lack of patience can become your undoing. If your idea is good, you might have multiple companies in multiple countries vying for your attention. But as a small business, you may not be ready to market your product everywhere. It takes discipline to adequately respond to inquiries from countries that you know little about.
Steps to Follow When Going Global
Global business can be boiled down to a few essential steps. First, evaluate what your business needs and what your goals are, while assessing your readiness to grow internationally.
Next, do market research. Use resources like the Department of Commerce to get a good feel for foreign and domestic markets. Evaluate how you are going to distribute your products or services in a foreign country and learn how to negotiate, set prices, and navigate the legal landscape in the country where you are going to set up shop.
The US market is big and can support most small businesses. Going international can protect you against declines in domestic markets and give your overall growth potential a boost.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan