If you run a small business, chances are you keep everything relatively local. Especially if you are just starting out. The idea of going global and introducing your business to an international market can be overwhelming. But, it’s the best way to ensure you are truly successful long-term. Look at any large brand or company. The best have offices all over the world.
The good news is that the internet, online banking, digital marketing, email, skype and ecommerce have all contributed to making it easier than ever to conquer the world with your business. You just need to be bold and go for it. Here’s a look at everything you need to know.
Face to Face is Worthwhile
Nowadays, so much can be done online. You can email business contacts, pitch ideas online, chat in relevant groups and even network via social media. Yet, when it comes to business, nothing beats face to face contact.
As your business grows, you’ll find you have to do a lot online as you simply can’t be in 2 places at once. But, for those first meetings, it’s important that you meet potential clients and associates as soon as possible. Committing to travel shows that you are willing to go above and beyond and that you believe in your business.
Face to face contact also gives you the chance to speak about and sell your company with a passion and knowledge that doesn’t always translate online. So, go for it. In some cases, it’s an excellent idea to spend some time in the country you are trying to sell your business. See http://rumahdijual.com/bintaro/apartemen-bintaro-park-view to find somewhere to live. Then, get to know the culture and lifestyle. Learn more about how they do business and research your local competition. This could give you a huge edge when it comes to selling yourself and making strangers believe in your business.
Branding is Key
Branding is always critical, but never more so than when trying to crack the international market. Make sure you spend some time perfecting your branding. Hire help to make sure your logo is just right, and that there is no chance of it offending anyone around the world, look at these https://blog.printsome.com/marketing-fails-wrong-translations/ for examples to avoid! Then, check your color scheme and make sure your branding is used across your website, printed materials and social media profiles.
Having a strong, clear brand, helps you to get recognized across the world. Try to keep it simple, so it’s easier to remember, then, make sure you are using it everything to get your business known.
Check Out International Competition
At home, you may bring a service or product to the market that is different or unique. But, that doesn’t mean you will everywhere. The international market may already have something or someone that does what you do. Check out the competition to find out what they offer and what their price points are. Look at their marketing strategy for the last few years and find out what’s worked well for them. Then, check out their websites and read reviews online.
If you’re not as unique as you’d like to be, try to find ways you can be better. This can be tough when they are established in the market, and you’re just breaking in. So, sit down and brainstorm. Look at any negative reviews and find ways to solve problems.
Build a New Business Plan
Going global also means you need a new business plan. Take forward targets from your old plan, but add to them. Where do you want to be in five or ten years? How are you going to get there? What’s holding you back and what changes do you need to make? If you need investment to move into the global market, make sure your business plan sells your goals and include structured financial forecasts.
Learn About Global Economy
To be able to make a detailed and accurate financial forecast it’s important that you understand the economy of the countries you are targeting. Money and finance are very different all over the world. Inflation is different, wages are different, costs and other outgoings will be different, and so your price points will be affected. You may want to take a course or hire some help if you’re not sure, but never just assume it’s the same as at home.
Market Research is Essential
You’ve researched the competition and the economy; now you need to research the market, especially if you will be selling products or services to the public. Try to arrange some focus groups and start chatting with people on social media to seek to gauge a better idea of what they are looking for.
If you plan to launch a store in another country, you may find they operate differently to back home. Customer service styles may vary as well as trends in advertising and store layout. The best way to judge this is by spending some time in other stores.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to conquer the whole world in one go. This isn’t advisable. Especially if you run a smaller business. Take things step at a time. Do well in one location before moving on. This gives you the chance to learn and do things well, without rushing off to the next stop on your list.
Only Do What Makes You Comfortable
This is very important. Don’t look at other companies and think you have to do what they do. Take your time, and do what makes you comfortable. It’s your business. If are happy as a local store, stay that way. Don’t be pressured.
Language is Still Important
Now so much business is done online, and so many people speak at least basic English, it can be tempting to neglect language. You shouldn’t. Language is still important. When meeting with a company director, he may speak English but will be impressed if you’ve taken the time to learn his tongue.
You may also find that if you are dealing with local suppliers or need to employ staff abroad, you will need language skills.
It doesn’t matter where you are, customer service matters. Their customs may be different, but whether you are selling to trade or the public, excellent customer service is one thing that will always get you remembered.
Visit Trade Shows
Trade shows, both home and abroad are a fantastic way to meet suppliers, clients and potential new contacts. Get some marketing materials printed up, prepare a pitch and visit as many as you can before your international launch. It could give you a massive head start.
You Need to Be Able to Meet Orders
How are you going to fulfill orders? Do you plan to ship from home, or start a supply chain abroad? This will depend hugely on the size of your operation and your financial situation, as well as what services you offer. But, it’s a decision you need to make.
It’s no good spending time, money and effort ensuring that you can do well abroad, only to fail when you get that first big order. Put plans in place before you start, so you know you can meet orders. And then make sure you are honest about what you can offer.
Entering the international market is a natural progression for most businesses. You just need to have the guts to try it. But, while this is an exciting and rewarding venture that is going to take up a lot of your time, you must always remember that your home business still requires some love. If you want to fully concentrate on breaking the international market, make sure you’ve got the right staff in place to look after things at home. This means that whatever happens, your business will continue to grow.