Important Steps for Expanding Your Business Globally
The following is a guest post by Isabel William.
Some of the largest, most famous corporations in the world, such as Google and Facebook, have started out in someone’s basement, or a college dorm. These businesses owe their scalability and success not only to their innovative nature but to the people that have made the right decisions at the right time. Growing pains are something every company is bound to experience at a certain moment, but you can make the most of your natural evolution or fail to use your chance.
Even if your business started out as a quaint food shop for the local folk, if you have grown enough to conquer nation-wide audiences, then thinking globally will be a part of your course of action. In order to truly use this opportunity, you should take the following steps in order to maximize your chances of success.
Assess your foundation
Before you dive into this brave new world of running a global business, you need to make sure that your existing structure, reputation, and capital are in top-notch shape to handle the arising challenge. First of all, do you have the financial backbone to support your goals overseas? If not, you need to build a timeframe to include your assessment when and how you can gain and maintain this necessary capital in order to grow.
Even more importantly perhaps, can you be absolutely certain that your local employees are ready to cope with this change? Are they skilled, willing, and prepared to take on extra work, learn about a whole new customer base, and adapt their approach to meet the needs of new markets? If there is only a handful of such people to support you, what happens if one of them leaves mid-expansion? It’s essential for you to factor in these possibilities and evaluate your strongest assets as well as your weakest links before you expand.
Research foreign markets
Once you have established that you know and can rely on your home team, you should also start delving deeper into the markets you wish to enter.
Your entire future strategy, branding efforts, and product and service changes will be based on the countries you want to target. Perhaps your brand will sell better in Europe, or maybe the Australian market is the go-to for your company – the bottom line is that you might be surprised by the results once you conduct thorough market research.
Adapt your brand
With the results of your research at your disposal, and with a strong home basis to drive your conquering adventure, you can focus once again on what you do best: think locally! This time, you should place yourself in the shoes of your new target audience and see what makes them tick. If you’re aiming for the Asian market, for example, you can look for various agencies on platforms such as 2Easy where you’ll find the right branding support for your goals.
Even though the English language is a widely-accepted form of global communication, the locals in your new country of business will appreciate the effort of using their native tongue. There are various cultural finesses you can incorporate into your new brand image, although staying consistent with your core values is another key thing to preserve in the face of all the changes.
Rethink your strategies
Although your local audience is perhaps predominantly present on Facebook, perhaps your new customer base prefers a different social platform such as Pinterest or Instagram. Every single detail, from the time of posting, type of language you use, and images to accompany your posts, it all matters in the process of forming your new reputation.
The same goes for your budgeting and sales approaches since this new market might appreciate a more refined packaging, or they’d like to see you donate some of your proceedings to a local charity. We all know how much we couldn’t stand incessant phone marketers, but just like this was the norm back in the day, there are other ways to engage with your potential customers through online quizzes, contests, discounts, newsletter announcements, organizing a launching event, etc.
Assemble the right team
Maybe your initial efforts can be completed successfully with your original team, but as soon as your business picks up in this new market, you will need to start thinking about assembling a local team for distribution, sales, customer support, and management. Certain businesses can benefit from taking this step in the initial process of entering a new market, so it’s best to assess the right timing for your company.
You need people who already have experience working with global companies so that they understand the intricacies of your operations and don’t start working with a steep learning curve. Finally, this new team will be the voice and the image of your brand in the new market, so choose carefully who will represent your company, and make sure they share your values.