Businesses of all shapes and sizes have a great potential to expand their endeavor internationally. Contrary to popular belief, international expansion is not being reserved solely for huge companies and enterprises. Startups are actually the ones who have a great chance to penetrate the foreign market.
Since a lot of startups have the necessary initial funding and capital to support their growth, it makes them a perfect candidate for such an expansion. So, any startups that want to grow their sales and expand their reach should consider going international. However, while it is possible, that doesn’t mean that international expansion will be easy. That’s why we’ve prepared some tips that should make this expansion as seamless for startups as possible.
Research the culture you’re trying to penetrate
To start off, you will first need to know where you want to try and expand. This is particularly important to define upfront so that you know how to approach your expansion. Also, you will need to do some serious research and try to learn as much as you can about the culture you’re trying to present your business to. This will play a key role in not just trying to keep your business operational but also your marketing efforts.
Come up with a strategy
Next, you need to come up with the right expansion strategy. The fact is that every country in the world has different regulations when it comes to running a business. That’s why you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of the market you’re about to launch your business on. Also, you’ll need to determine how you can approach importing and exporting, product localization and using local services. Moreover, you will also need to define how you want to price your products or services and see if you can establish any partnerships with local businesses.
Learn as much as possible about the location
When trying to expand your endeavor internationally, you will need to find a market to tackle. Additionally, you will also need to determine where your international office building or manufacturing facility will be located. Also, try to focus mostly on regions or countries with a good growth potential. For instance, since the Asia-Pacific market has great growth potential, many businesses choose to focus on it when trying to expand internationally. Additionally, you can even partner up with local businesses such as Invest Island that can help you out when searching for a suitable real estate property for your startup.
Consider the logistics
Logistics will be another thing you will need to pay close attention to. So, you will need to consider your storage options, packaging, labeling and transport. And while you’ve probably already organized all of these in your country, you will now need to do it in your international location as well. Moreover, you will need to do thorough research regarding import and export, as the laws and regulations regarding these can vary significantly. By ensuring that you’ve done proper research and prepared for such an endeavor, you will avoid any potential hiccups with shipping either locally or overseas.
Check out your competition
Trying to fight your competition is difficult as is. Add to that the fact that you will be operating in an entirely new ecosystem. Not only that but local businesses probably understand the audience better than you do. So, you will need to conduct a thorough analysis and find a way to tailor your offer to suit the local audience and make it more appealing than what they’ve already had until you came along. If, for instance, you appear on the new market with a certain product or service the local customers were not yet presented with, you can rest assured that your competitors will follow your lead. That’s why you always need to try and stay one step ahead.
Constantly re-evaluate your progress
Finally, to make sure that your international expansion is not just a money pit, you will need to constantly re-evaluate your progress. In business, there’s no time to sit around and wait for the good things to come. Since you’ve expanded internationally, you want to make sure that all of your operations are running smoothly. The last thing you want to happen is to think everything’s going great, only to discover that your international endeavor is actually failing hard.
Launching your business internationally, while possible, is certainly not easy. It will require a lot of research and planning but if you manage to play your cards right, you can expect a lot of good things to come your way.
Victoria is a Digital Marketing Strategist. She works with driven, creative, and passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to bring their visions to life. An enthusiastic writer who follows the latest marketing and technology trends to get a glimpse of the future.