Apple conquering China, otherwise known for its commitment to the local brands. Netflix slowly but steadily growing their presence not only in the US but now in Europe. These success stories prove that going global can be very brave yet extremely rewarding. So, how do you know whether your business is ready to go global? We’ll look into this issue in this article.
Why go global?
The main reason is all too obvious – to conquer new markets. If you already have a product that people need, there is no reason to stick to a local market only. You’ve got all the reasons to expand and penetrate new international markets.
Besides, global expansion can be an excellent way to stabilize your business. Let’s say you’re selling winter sports equipment and experience seasonal swings during spring and summer. You can easily solve this problem by presenting your business on a market with opposite trends. This way, your products will be relevant and in-demand all year round.
Finally, going global is an excellent way to overmaneuver competitors. This is especially valuable for businesses from highly-competitive industries. Fierce competition in your domestic market can be outweighed by tons of new opportunities outside of it. Identify where your target audience is as well as what markets are yet to be discovered by your rivals – and be the first to offer your products and services in that region.
What challenges of global expansion you should be aware of
- Different pace of business development.
Don’t expect the same pace of conducting business. Running a business overseas will always take longer. But the speed comes with experience. So, buckle up and embrace what a new market has to offer.
- Cultural differences.
Keep an eye on cultural differences in different regions. Preferably hire an expert for each local market to prevent any misunderstandings and promote your business appropriately.
- Language barrier.
You don’t want to follow the sad example of a failed Electrolux campaign abroad. A Swedish company, after deciding to expand into the US market, has made a giant translation bunder. Aiming to emphasize the vacuum’s great sucking power, they’ve translated the product’s slogan to “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. Needless to say, it wasn’t a big selling success.
It is only smart to outsource some of the tasks to local third-party service providers unless you can cover the services of a full-time translator on staff for each new market. Thus, consider delegating customer service and sales to local professionals.
- Local regulations.
Laws and regulations for different regions can be a huge challenge for businesses. From tax regulations to packaging requirements, you need a highly-qualified lawyer specializing in the laws of that specific region to avoid any troubles.
- Existing competition.
Why should a customer pick your product if there is probably a similar local one already present on the market? Gaining the trust and strengthening your brand on a foreign market is both cost- and time-consuming. And you need to be prepared to face the local competition and overcome it.
Tips and recommendations on how to go global
- Hire local experts.
When going global, you should be ready to expand your team and welcome new international specialists. Saying that this is important is an understatement. Let’s just say that your international success completely depends on their expertise and insights on the local market.
- Identify local payment needs.
When penetrating a new market, beware that people in different regions prefer different payment methods. And to increase your conversion, you better have a list of the most popular local payment methods integrated with your website. We talked more about it here. Alternatively, you can use the Cashier platform which is already offering you a wide range of integrated payment connectors. To get a free Demo of the system, fill out an application here.
- Have the right local manager.
Running an international business is a great managerial challenge. Therefore, it is your greatest priority to find a manager with hands-on experience in the niche and whom you can trust. This person will be in charge of communicating your USPs in a way locals will understand, optimizing the cost of operation, and making sure that your company complies with domestic laws and regulations of a specific region.
- Embrace the time zone difference.
Going global can also be difficult considering the difference in time zones. Therefore, make sure that teams across time zones have established effective communication. And ensure 24/7 customer support coverage no matter the location.
- Establish the right infrastructure.
Hire the right team to run your business in a foreign market, identify which tasks have to stay at the headquarters, and which ones can be solved inside your satellite companies, etc. Beware that infrastructure is critical for running an international business. Think it through before going global.
Over to you
Now that you have all the information, you can analyze your business and whether t is ready to go global. It is a big step. And many have proved it to be a rewarding experience. Yet, it is not for everyone. Or more precisely, your business has to be at a certain stage to qualify for global expansion. We hope this information helped! Stay tuned!