Expanding your business into global markets is a tempting idea for any entrepreneur. However, as exciting as it sounds, taking your company global is not a cakewalk. It’s important to assess the risks of going global and weigh this up with the potential revenue you may enjoy. Going global will definitely have a big impact on your current business activities, but it could also come with big rewards.
Expanding into new markets, especially international ones means you’ll have to adapt your marketing strategies to new audiences. It’s often difficult for small entrepreneurs to manage local customers while catering to an international audience. Here are a few tips that can make your business expansion a smooth and hassle-free process.
- Perform Product Market Analysis
Going global is a big decision for any business. Before you start with the expansion process, research the international market to know whether your product has enough demand in foreign countries. A thorough product market analysis will give you a better understanding of how your product will perform in a foreign market. There’s no point in investing your money in international marketing when there is limited product demand in your target market.
- Run Competitor Analysis
It’s essential to understand your target audience and run a SWOT analysis to identify your competitors. Most international companies price their products higher than local ones, because of packaging, overseas shipping, import or export taxes, excise duty, and other expenses. The question is why your audience would want to choose your products over your competitors? You must have a solid USP (unique selling point) that attracts the attention of an international audience despite higher prices.
- Know Compliance Regulations
Tax and corporate regulations in a foreign market may be completely different from local compliance measures. Be sure to research foreign laws before expanding into an overseas market. It’s essential to keep your business abreast of all laws and regulations relevant to your business. This will help you to run your business smoothly and establish good relationships with foreign banks and government institutions.
- Overcome Cultural and Language Barriers
People look for personalized experiences which can also be a draw-card for local products! So, it is important that you adjust your marketing strategies based on cultural differences. What may be appealing to local customers may not attract an international audience. You not only need a translation agency to overcome linguistic barriers, but it’s equally important to tailor your global business to each country’s unique culture.
- Hire a Skilled Workforce
Your team is essential to the success of your company, whether you are running a startup in your local area or an online global business. It’s important to hire qualified and experienced employees, preferably ones who are multilingual. Native speakers of foreign languages will be a bonus for your company, as you can use these employees for meetings with your international partners, clients, and investors.
Not only do you need translators, but your employees must have a good understanding of the international audience. They should be capable of researching your target markets, growth potential, expected revenues, and other factors. Remember that expanding your business to global markets will bring a set of new challenges. Your team must be prepared to handle everything and an international background will help greatly with this.
- Select Convenient Payment Methods
The vast majority of customers abandon online shopping carts because of difficult payment processes. Online transactions can be a challenging part of expanding their brand to global markets. Chances are the payment methods used by the international audience are not accepted in your country or they may simply not be feasible for your business.
An EPOS system allows you to easily accept contactless payments from local and international customers. E-wallets are also a great option for a foreign audience, supporting fast and hassle-free transactions.
A credit-card only payment approach will not work for companies going global. You need to research your audiences’ preferences and choose a payment solution that works for them. The more payment alternatives you offer, the more customers you will attract.
- Choose Reliable Marketing Strategies
There are plenty of marketing tools available to promote your brand to a local and international audience. Social media is a great way to get your product in front of international customers and also helps you build customer engagement. SEO, SEM, and email marketing are just a few popular digital marketing channels that work wonders for businesses going global.
- Focus on Your Customer Experience
No matter how great your marketing and pricing strategies are, many customers prefer local companies over international brands. So, focus on customer satisfaction to build your client base. Good communication with exceptional services and 24/7 assistance are just a few ways to draw your audience’s attention and build their engagement.
International expansion is often a good idea, but it carries many risks. Research your target market and audience well before you expand your business internationally.