Are you dreaming about international expansion?
After establishing a business within your local market, the next step for you may be to branch out internationally. Becoming an international brand is a massive accomplishment for any business, but the path that leads you to realizing this goal is a long and treacherous journey.
For any business wanting to grow internationally, here are a few important considerations necessary before you take the plunge.
1 DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before taking your business abroad, do research into the market, to determine whether there is enough interest in your product or service. Know whether you will help solve an existing problem, and make sure you know who the other game players are.
Moving into a saturated market would be expansion suicide. However, if you are determined to enter into a competitive space, make sure you are able to position your brand differently, and able to fulfill a need that your competition isn’t.
Other questions you should be asking in your research phase are:
– Will your current unique selling proposition need to be adapted for a foreign market?
– How will your new market be different to your current one?
– Are there cultural differences that may affect the adoption of your product?
– What business practices are different in your new market?
– What will your supply chain look like?
2 FIND AN INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR
While handling development, sales, marketing and distribution channels may be easy to control for your local business, it takes a lot of effort, time and resources to replicate the same model abroad.
However, if you can find an international distributor, you need only concern yourself with selling them your products, and they can handle re-sale throughout their domestic market.
Finding a foreign distributor can also be as simple as looking around your home city. International business consultants can provide valuable help in your search for a foreign distributor, as many may have connections they have worked with in the past.
3 BUILD YOUR FOREIGN RELATIONSHIPS
On the subject of international distributors, make sure you nurture relationships by meeting with your international team periodically. This is a key ingredient for many international ventures, which means travel will become part of your new work life.
There are some social cues that do not translate well over email and phone, meaning meeting with your international distributors on occasion is an effective way to build and maintain favourable relationships. This may also open doors for other networking opportunities in your new market.
4 PLAN FOR PLAN B FROM THE START
Once you have gone international, you’ll soon realise that running an international company is not without its complications. With more parties involved in your supply chain, reliability of service and product delivery is often dependent on others.
If one of these parties runs into trouble – for example, a shipping partner proves to be incompetent – make sure you have a secondary plan to prevent delays. Taking a business international requires planning for all possible contingencies, and having solutions in place before you encounter an issue.
5 GET LISTED IN YOUR NEW MARKET
If your company is listed in your local market, consider dual listing within your new borders. Not only does this build your credibility as an international business, but it helps with the growth of your brand in the new foreign market.
There are a number of financial marketing firms that assist in dual listing stocks, while also helping you find investors through targeted awareness campaigns.
With over 15 years experience in investor acquisition, Equity Alliance International now offers North American listed companies the opportunity to gain exposure to European markets, specifically in Germany, which is home to one of the largest stock exchanges in the world.
If you are on the brink of international expansion, get in touch with Equity Alliance today.