In today’s global economy, expanding your growing business beyond your home country’s borders is more important than ever. If you’re looking to take your business global, you’re in luck. Expansion is easier than ever before, and there are several strategies you can use to get started. But it can also be a daunting prospect.
Here are 21 steps to help make the process as smooth and successful as possible:
1. Do Your Research And Define Your Goals
Before making any decisions, it’s essential to do your research and determine what kind of expansion would be best for your business. Is it a good time to expand into new markets? What are the potential risks and rewards? What resources will you need to expand? Which steps are you willing to take? Should you buy a business already operating in this market instead? Make sure you have a solid plan in place before moving forward.
What are your goals for expanding your business? Are you looking to increase revenue, penetrate new markets, or gain a larger market share? Defining your goals ahead of time will help you make decisions later on.
2. Choose the Right Markets
Not all markets are created equal – some may be more conducive to success than others. Your product may have a strong demand in one country but not in another, so choosing wisely is important. When choosing which markets to expand into, consider factors like the size of the market, the level of competition, the cultural fit, and more.
It would help if you also considered the political and economic stability of a potential market. If there’s unrest in a country or region, it may not be the best time to expand there.
3. Pinpoint Your Target Audience
It’s important to know your target audience to create messaging that resonates with them. When expanding into new markets, it’s essential to do your research and figure out the dominant culture and how to appeal to their interests. You cannot be everything to everyone, so focus on a specific target audience and craft your message accordingly. Struggling to identify your target audience? No problem. Start by gathering and organizing data from your competitors using a tool such as this Google Sheets add-on, Sheets Genie. This will give you valuable insight into how to attract the right people to your business.
4. Establish a Presence in Those Markets
Once you’ve chosen your target markets, you need to establish a presence there. This could involve setting up a physical office or warehouse, hiring local staff, or developing marketing materials in local languages. Potential clients need to know that you’re available and ready to do business in their country.
5. Create a Localized Website
If you want to succeed in new markets, it’s important to have a localized website. This means translating your website into the local language and adapting the content and design to fit the cultural norms of that market.
6. Produce Localized Marketing Materials
In addition to a localized website, you’ll also need to produce localized marketing materials. This could include translated brochures, posters, TV commercials, and more.
7. Build Relationships with Local Partners
To succeed in new markets, it’s important to build relationships with local partners. These could be distributors, suppliers, or other businesses that can help you navigate the local landscape. The benefit of having local partners is that they can provide valuable insights into the market and help you avoid potential pitfalls.
8. Learn the Local Culture
It’s essential to learn the local culture when expanding into new markets. This includes understanding the local customs, traditions, and values. Trying to do business in a market without understanding the culture can be very difficult – and potentially costly. Strategy means nothing if it’s not taking cultural preferences into account.
9. Hire Local Staff
To succeed in new markets, it’s important to hire local staff who understand the local culture and language. This will help ensure that your business can operate effectively in those markets.
10. Train Your Local Staff
Even if you hire local staff, you’ll still need to train them on how your business operates. This includes teaching them about your products and services and your company culture and values. You also need support services in place like chaplains to help them with any questions or issues they may have.
11. Adapt Your Product Line
In order to be successful in new markets, you may need to adapt your product line to fit the local tastes and preferences. This could involve introducing new products or tweaking existing products to make them more appealing to local consumers. Uptake is often lower when products are not tailored to the local culture.
12. Evaluate the Competition
Before expanding into a new market, it’s important to evaluate the competition and understand what you’re up against. This includes studying the competition’s strengths and weaknesses and formulating a plan to differentiate your business from theirs.
13. Set Up Local Distribution Channels
To sell your products or services in a new market, you’ll need to set up local distribution channels. This could involve working with local distributors, setting up your retail stores, or selling online. The supply chain in each market is different so do your research on how to get products to market most efficiently. The logistics of each market should dictate the game plan- not a cookie-cutter one size fits all strategy.
14. Implement Localized Pricing
When expanding into new markets, it’s essential to implement localized pricing. This means considering the local currency, economic conditions, and competitive landscape when setting prices for your products or services. Market penetration pricing is often used when first entering a market in order to gain market share.
15. Manage Your Inventory
One of the challenges of expanding into new markets is managing your inventory. You’ll need to have enough stock on hand to meet demand, but you don’t want to overstock and tie up too much capital in inventory. You might need to rely on local distributors to help you manage your inventory in each market.
16. Understand the Tax Environment
When expanding into new markets, it’s important to understand the tax environment. This includes knowing how taxes work in the local jurisdiction and what type of taxes you’re liable for. It’s also essential to have a plan in place for filing and paying taxes in each market.
17. Secure Local Bank Accounts
To do business in a new market, you’ll need to open local bank accounts. This will allow you to conduct business in that market using the local currency. It’s also essential to have local banking relationships in place to easily access financial services in each market.
18. Handle Customer Service Inquiries
Another challenge of expanding into new markets is handling customer service inquiries. This includes dealing with questions and complaints from customers and handling returns and refunds.
19. Evaluate Your Progress
It’s important to evaluate your progress when expanding into new markets regularly. This includes setting goals and targets and measuring your results against those goals. Projections and forecasting can also help evaluate your progress.
20. Make Adjustments as Necessary
As you expand into new markets, there will inevitably be some bumps in the road. When this happens, it’s important to make adjustments as necessary. This could involve changing your product line, pricing, or marketing strategy.
21. Be Prepared to Exit
Finally, it’s important to be prepared to exit a market. This could involve selling your business, shutting down operations, or downsizing in that market. It’s often better to cut your losses and move on rather than pour more resources into a losing proposition.
Expanding your business into new markets can be a challenge, but it’s also an exciting opportunity. By following these 20 steps, you can increase your chances of success and make the most of the opportunity.