There comes a time when most business owners consider expanding their current market position. They may feel they have fully capitalised in their current market and are now looking to explore new territories. This is an exciting time for a business owner, it can also be quite worrisome, as nothing in life or business is guaranteed (apart from death and taxes of course).
When developing a tactical strategy to launch a business on an international stage, companies must always consider the possible barriers and adjustments they will need to make to their product and service to support its success.
So what steps can an owner take to ensure they are at least on the correct path to global business success?
First and foremost it’s important to note that if you are going to start expanding your business to another country, it is worth your while to speak to an advisor who already has experience in market entry strategy, particularly in the country you are considering. No doubt, you can proceed on your own however, it can be a daunting experience and it helps to have someone who knows what they’re doing and have done it before. Regardless of whether you opt to use a global expansion advisor, the following steps should be considered.
Step 1 Research your geography and customer base
One of the first things to consider when wanting to take your business global is to research the potential customer base in the new country. It’s crucial to assess whether your product or service will be viable/of interest in the new country. Run the numbers and get your feet on the ground before making any hasty decisions. Talk to others in the industry to get more knowledge and research as much as you can online. Geography can also play a big role in understanding if your business will be able to adapt to its new home.
Step 2 Address market barriers
There is no place in the world where there are no market barriers. Even in your home country your business wasn’t established overnight and it will have taken time to understand the market barriers and then recognise how to overcome them. This is even more important when expanding overseas into a country you may not have first-hand experience of. The following are the primary market barriers to consider when expanding globally and each will need to be fully addressed before you take your plans any further:
- Cultural barriers
- Technical barriers
- Legal barriers
- Language barriers
- Government barriers
Step 3 Develop your market plan
Once you’ve completed steps 1 and 2 you can now focus on developing a much more accurate and detailed business plan. This plan will take into account all the information you have gathered up to this point. Of course, the plan you may have first started out with is going to change now that you’ve inputted new and relevant data. The new plan should take the following points into account:
- Potential customers and competitors
- Import/export pricing strategies
- Primary financing streams and projected revenues
- Any supplementary costs (e.g. marketing, shipping, inventory storage, storefront, travel)
- Legal, regulatory and licensure requests
- Sales structure (Internet or location-based or both)
- Assess your company’s own strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats presented by the new market – this is commonly known as a SWOT analysis and is an excellent way to gain a better understanding of your market and competitors.
Following these steps will at least put you on the right path and provide insight into the international expansions process. Regardless of the industry, QX Corporate Advisors support small to medium-sized enterprises across the globe who are considering business expansion into foreign markets. We specialise in de-risking market entry overseas by making a business operationally compliant within the country’s regulatory laws and assure greater opportunity for success by delivering long-term support.
If you are considering entering a foreign market or are just wanting to know if it’s feasible for your business, please email us at email@example.com or call us on +91 79 2685 6768.