Going global is no longer something that only large businesses can do. The internet and globalisation have shrunk the world, and it is now more viable than ever for small and medium-sized businesses to expand to international markets. However, there are several factors to consider before taking the step to set up base abroad or sell and market abroad.
Plan for a tough start
A business doesn’t go global without a few hiccups, so you should expect things to be tough for the first period. Make sure that you have the capital to pay for any unprofitable period before things get going. Market penetration is not an easy thing to do, especially when you are competing against local businesses that understand the language and culture of the area. You have to think about what you can offer consumers that current suppliers are not.
Look closely at the markets you are looking to expand into and see if the products and services you are offering have much demand for them. The advent of digital marketing means that you can look at your current data to see if there has been any demand for what you offer from the markets you are looking to expand into. The Google Analytics tracking code lets you see where in the world your website visitors are coming from, so have a look at this data to see if there are places in the world that are already demanding what you offer.
Study the competition
Think about how other companies in your sector have done in these markets and how tough the competition is. Think historically as well, because there are probably plenty of examples of businesses in your sector going into the markets you’re looking at and failing. Failure is the best lesson, but try to make it so that it’s other businesses’ failures, not yours.
You might have a great product or service that is in high demand in your new market, but if you can’t get it to these customers, then there’s no point in trying. You need to think about transport in the regions you’re selling to, as well as employing interpreters if the new market uses a different language. You will also need to consider the laws of the other countries, because these do differ quite heavily across borders, and you don’t want your new venture to end in a big fine. Think about the money side of things – are you able to transfer money to different areas of the world? Think about which London money transfer companies you will use. Finally, you should also make sure you get quality financial advice to ensure you understand the risks.
Don’t just go for tax havent
Sure, no one likes paying taxes, but this does not mean that you should automatically go for the places that have the lowest corporation tax. Places with higher taxes will also offer other important benefits, such as better infrastructure in terms of offices and roads and perhaps a better-trained local workforce.
These days, many businesses now have a global customer base. Keep the above in mind as you prepare to seek out new markets as your business expands and eventually thrives overseas.
Founder Dinis Guarda
IntelligentHQ Your New Business Network.
IntelligentHQ is a Business network and an expert source for finance, capital markets and intelligence for thousands of global business professionals, startups, and companies.
We exist at the point of intersection between technology, social media, finance and innovation.
IntelligentHQ leverages innovation and scale of social digital technology, analytics, news and distribution to create an unparalleled, full digital medium and social business network spectrum.
IntelligentHQ is working hard, to become a trusted, and indispensable source of business news and analytics, within financial services and its associated supply chains and ecosystems.