10 Tips for Expansion

Growth can be the most satisfying part of being a part of business, but it that doesn’t mean the process is easy.  Expanding to  a new country can make you tear your hairs out if you aren’t prepared.  These tips and advice can help you form your playbook for your expansion.


Look at your funnel data and map it against the top countries from which you’re already seeing positive indicators — such as traffic, MQLs, higher win rates, and shorter sales cycles.   It’s important to understand and know the different factors in your market as well.


Setting your sights on a few targets allows you to focus more of your attention and not get to fragmented.  There might be instances where regional grouping makes sense.


If fast, near-term growth is the goal, think about markets that might be smaller and easier to penetrate, so that they can carry you into some of the bigger markets within the same region later.


This kind of information is available pretty widely.  Tools like Google Trends can help you identify what your target consumers are talking about.


Similarly, it’s important to pay close attention to your keyword usage.  This hasn’t changed for year and won’t.  Keywords will always be key to communicating with the audience you want.


Even if you’re only writing in English, you can attract incredible traffic from a given country by covering country-relevant trends within a blog post.


Segment your database by country and language. Then, clone top campaigns for each market instead of creating new ones from scratch. Adapt them and localize them as needed


This one is overlooked fairly often.  There are so many international call forwarding services that it shouldn’t be difficult to identify one.  This just makes your customers life a lot easier when trying to contact you.


If you can’t handle incoming calls in other languages, you can access a phone-based interpreting service that will connect an interpreter to the line within seconds.


Which companies already have a strong presence in the countries you are targeting? Consider joining forces and sharing resources to deliver co-marketing campaigns. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Our War Veterans

A few days ago I was at our local DMV renewing  my driver’s license, nothing extraordinary. I wanted to get it before heading out of town for some hiking. So I get there and am waiting for my turn when I see this elderly couple at one of the counters.  The gentleman was having his eyes tested for his driver’s license. The lady at the counter asked him to read the lines. Which he did. Then she asked him if he saw any red dots. There was silence. He said no! She asked him again and again he said no. At this time, I was thinking the lady at the counter was going to deny him his driver’s license when he said, do you mean the ones on the edges?  She said yes. And he said I sure do. They are on both sides! A sigh of relief came to both, over the lady at the counter and the gentleman’s wife, and as burst of laughter from the gentleman.

Next, it was time for the photo. He stood in front of the camera and smiled asking the lady at the counter if he could wear his hat for the photo. She said yes, as long as his face was completely visible. All this time I was watching, I could see the energy in this man, full of life and vigor. Then came my turn and I did my customary stuff at the counter and headed out.


At the departure, I saw this gentleman and his wife and noticed the hat he was wearing was a WWII Vet hat. That gave me goosebumps watching this vet from 50+ years ago, full of energy and life. I graciously opened the door for him and his wife and told him that I was not even born when he served but can appreciate what he and all other war vets have gone through and the support that their families give them. And as we stepped outside I asked him if I could shake his hand. We shook hands and he let me know how appreciated he was for me to mention that and said God Bless you.

But there was something more compelling about this encounter. I had to go back and ask his name. He said it was Leon Frank Guania, originally from Poland. After introductions, we talked a bit more and he gave me a huge hug. This was my personal experience with one WWII vet on a certain day this year. There are thousands of vets and as we all know that one of the work hazards is what they always don’t talk about. Our people in the armed forces literally pledge to lay down their life for the rest of us. To preserve what we believe in and make sure we live our lives without the threat of some foreign power wanting otherwise.

So please support our war veterans unconditionally. They were there for us. Their friends died for us. Many came back severely handicapped and their wellbeing is our obligation and duty. They are part of our legacy.

Arun Sharma

How to begin the process of international expansion

When you decide that your business is ready for the global market, it’s not as easy as calling up the international expansion company and ordering one.  It takes a plan and a committed team to execute something as big as a international expansion.  Here are some things that you should be thinking about when your company becomes large enough.


It’s important to have reasonable expectations going into an expansion.  There are certain things that you can achieve and there are certain things that can potential hazards.  Taking your business abroad can offer your business several opportunities and benefits if planned and executed properly.  There are a great deal of factors to pay attention to in the initial research phase.  For example, does your target country offer a more favorable business climate compared to where you are now?  A higher tax rate, raising wages or other increasing costs might signal that international  expansion might be an option for you.  A recession or a depression might also be a signal that international expansion is a good idea.  If you are in a recession, diversifying your revenue stream might insulate you from domestic losses.  Conversely, your business or product might be in a good position to do well in a down market.  In this case, you could take advantage of lower costs  to do business in that country.  This situation provides an excellent opportunity for a company to build trust both with the local consumers but with the local government as well.

Similarly, if demand for your product or service are down, reaching an untapped market abroad may provide your business with very lucrative gains.  Being able to offer a product where it is in high demand but low supply can very much make headway into the market.  In the right climate, doing this can create a sustainable and loyal customer base.  By being being the only provider of a good or service will very much endear you to the local consumers.  In time as you continue to provide good service you can build forward and solidify new partnerships and relationships.  This is an excellent base for ensuring that you have a platform to continue to expand and grow.  Without this trust, the path to expansion becomes more muddied and more difficult than necessary.


When preparing for an international expansion, it’s a good idea to try to think up as many potential pitfalls as possible.  You probably know your company’s weaknesses better than anybody else does.  After understanding these weaknesses, the next step would be to put them into the context of where you are expanding.  You  can start by researching your target market as thoroughly as possible.  The more information you have, the better you will be placed to succeed.  This would be a good time to do a SWOT, gap and market segmentation analysis.  Gather as much information as possible before moving forward.  Some things to consider are how big the market is, what is your timeline for success, is the target market compatible with your own market? After you have much of this information, you can proceed to develop your strategy for the target market.

One of the next things to consider is whether or not your organizational structure is indusive to a positive international expansion.  If you are expanding into a new culture with different languages and customs, it’s important to have a workforce that is flexible enough to adjust to the situation.  It is important that you have a set of guidelines in place that makes that integration into a new country as smoothe as possible.  Its also important to think about how to integrate technology and your workforce.  If you are looking to hire new employees in the new region, it’s important to know what kind of compensation and what you can offer that is customary.  If you go in expecting their customs to be the same as yours, you will fail to build the trust that is necessary for further expansion.


There are so many example of international expansion gaffs, from large companies to small, independently owned businesses.  The path itself is one of uphill, but it isn’t impossible.  For example, Subway, the american fast food icon has transformed itself from wholly domestic brand to an international staple.  Subway started with more manageable aspirations, targeting only 10 countries.  These countries were chosen due to strong growth, high tourism and an ability to coexist within the culture of the target country.  After making strong headways initially Subway started to open themselves up a little more.  They went back to their data and examined countries that they had looked past for expansion.  By doing this they were able to identify Russia and UAE as prime destinations for their stores.

Subway has kept up their international growth by identifying trends and less obvious opportunities.  For example, after expanding into india, Subway began to feel a slowdown in their growth.  WHat they did was try to target local entrepreneurs as potential franchise establishers.  They recognized that India was not only growing, but there was a rise in small business ownership and entrepreneurial ventures.  They were able to cultivate an untapped group of partners.


For as many success stories like Subway, there are an equal amount of failures to learn from.  We can look to Target for a story on what not to do.  Targets failed expansion into Canada is one of the more recent failures that we can draw upon.  Target is a retail giant that was founded in 1902 that is currently headquartered in minneapolis, minnesota.  Target is currently the second largest discount retailer in the United States.  The main competition coming from Canada.  The expansion was first announced in 2011 after decades of growth and success in the united states.  The retailer was expecting to extremely rapidly recoup their massive $4 billion investment into the expansion.  The hope was that store in Canada would become profitable by the year 2013, but an unbiased international analysis concluded that there was no possible way of profitability until at least 2021.  In January of 2015, Target decided to close all 133 stores in Canada

What could have led to such a catastrophic failure?  To put it simply, their information gathered was both incorrect and incomplete.  To start off, Target decided to buy all 133 pre existing stores from Canadian retailer, Zellers.  This was a great way to cut costs, but in the end turned out to be a mistake.  This was a mistake for two reasons.  First, instead of having locations that were researched and picked out, they were stuck with whatever location the existing store was in.  On top of that, many of the stores couldn’t support that amount of merchandise and had to be renovated.  This renovation ended up being a lot more than was initially planned.  These locations weren’t always that accessible for receiving products as well.

Many of the times canadian shoppers would chose to go to a canadian target, the shelves ended up being mostly bare.  Targets problems lied in their supply chain.  They had to decided to expand so rapidly that their stores could not supply many of the items featured in their stores.  Their entrance strategy was poorly planned, but they also failed to the requisite research on their customer base.  Often times customers would find that shopping at walmart was significantly cheaper and had already had 2 years of familiarity to overcome. When Target finally did withdrawal the market in Canada, it left over 17,000 people out of a job and created a negative ripple through the rest of their business operations.  This might have been a grand failure for Target, but offers a lot of insight for the rest of us.