These days, we are living in a very world where a globalized economy and development of digital tech practically erased the national borders and made the entire planet one giant marketplace. This is, by all means, a very fortunate development since even the small-scale challengers now have the opportunity to use lucrative foreign markets, take a shot at global fame and expand their operations abroad.
Still, the existing infrastructure and favorable circumstances do not automatically guarantee success. If they want to make this kind of expansion successful the companies need to have a strategic plan and make thorough preparations.
Let us take a look then at a couple of suggestions that should help you to pull off this transition without any hiccups.
Have a clear set of goals in mind
This is absolutely necessary for any kind of business venture and foreign expansion is no exception. As lucrative as it may sound, moving abroad is not really an objective by itself but rather an asset you will use to reach some other more tangible goals. So, before you start to make any specific move, be very clear about what exactly you want to accomplish and how you are going to do that. Some of the areas you will most likely want to cover include the likes of:
- Expanding the national talent pool or getting access to more affordable labor
- Tapping into developing foreign markets
- Diversifying markets to balance out the economic stability
- Building a global brand with more business clout
Conduct a thorough market study
When expanding abroad, the business owners often make the mistake of taking a very bird-view approach to the whole matter, meaning they try to assess the destination market through some general metrics like national GDP, average income, etc. The truth is that in real life these indicators widely vary and give away a very false impression. If you, for instance, want to advance your tech company, you also need to know about the local education, tech infrastructure, demographics, market presence of similar type products, and countless similar factors. These nuances can make or break whatever you were trying to build.
Take care of the legal compliance
Different countries have different sets of laws. In some cases, you will also need to take into account regional and state law deviations as well as different tax regimes, employment regulations, business practices, and countless other legal factors that can easily take your operations off the rails. That is why you should conduct thorough research about the local legal requirements and ensure the compliance of your enterprise. Ideally, you should look out for the services of a professional employer of record that will handle these issues without forcing your organization to formally set up a local entity abroad.
Localize the brand for the foreign audience
Of course, we are not talking about the simple Google Translate treatment of your website. If you really want to reach out to foreign audiences, you need to be aware of their interests, sensibilities, local lingo, pop culture, and all other national and cultural flavors. Noise-diving into a foreign market without being aware of these nuances can only result in a crash. Be sure then to hire the local branding experts, top-tier translators, and, if necessary, a sub-brand more suitable for the foreign cultural climate. Traveling abroad and spending some time in the destination country should make this endeavor much simpler.
Ensure effective management
Running a business operation outside your native country means you need to enforce effective, high-quality, and interrupt management. In order for that to be possible, however, you will first need to lay down strong foundations. For a start, ensure your company uses collaborative tools that should keep everyone involved on the same page. Second, try to establish a unified workflow and automate as many of the management tasks as possible. Finally, it would be a good idea to outsource some non-critical tasks to local vendors to give managers more time to focus on high-level duties and division integration.
Nail down the customer service
Last but not least, we would like to remind you that the success of your expansion will depend on many factors outside your control. That means you need to double your efforts to make the ones you actually have influence over truly count. That being said, stellar customer service was always seen as one of the greatest tools for winning over new audiences, establishing a stable customer pool, and encouraging a greater number of repeat purchases. So, go out of the way to always be available for your customers, provide quick solutions for their grievances and keep them engaged through personalized incentives.
So, there you have it – the top seven strategies you can use to make your future expansion to lucrative new market success. Of course, we have managed to cover only the tip of the iceberg and you will need to work very hard to identify and address all the challenges lurking below the surface. But, all successful enterprises are built on strong foundations. The directions we gave you will definitely serve as excellent cornerstones you will keep building upon.
Written by Mike Johnston