Taking the next step with your company into the international arena represents a major leap in your growth. Taking these next steps can be very daunting if you are not fully prepared. The only way to prepare yourself is to do the necessary research and an honest self assessment. Here i’ll go over some things to consider before you start the process of expanding internationally.
One of the first things to consider is how well you are situated in your current state of operations. Have you built a team or staff that is capable of operating without you? It is important that your day to day functions are implemented and running smoothly. What you can’t afford is disorganization on two fronts. Your daily functions shouldn’t be an area of focus for your team.
Similarly, you will have to determine if your company is deep enough to start business in a new location. On top of hiring new people, you will most likely have to reorganize the structure of your company. It might be necessary to assign senior employees to your international efforts. This will cause some displacement in your daily operations. It’s important to gauge if your company can afford this movement. Your international team is going to need a great deal of guidance and somebody closely informed about your company. It’s important that you keep as much consistency as possible in your new venture.
As you send your people abroad, it’s also wise to think about the cultural implications of living in a new place. Some countries are fairly easy to adapt to if it is a predominantly English speaking country, as well as countries with high rates of English speakers. As for other countries, integrating into their customs can be difficult. Countries like japan can be very rigid towards those visiting their country. It is important to accept and adapt as quickly and easily as possible. This will ease the transition to doing business in an unknown environment. Its also key that you tailor your message or product to whichever region you are expanding into. Concepts and ideas to not always directly translate over and it can be counterproductive if your marketing is done in the wrong way.
When doing business in another country, it’s important that you do the necessary cultural research. You can undo all your work by following the wrong procedures or conversely, you can spend to much of your time on leads that will never pan out to something tangible. Certain cultures have an inability to dismiss your or say no to another meeting with no intention of ever buying, instead simply being polite to their guests. When selling in a new country, it’s a good idea to look for similar trends with similar buyers. This also a good opportunity to do market research on your competition. Understanding the competition can shed light on some of your questions and problems. Doing the requisite market research might also impact your decision whether or not to expand at all. If you discover that the new market is ripe for a new entry, you have the information to process. You may also discover that market penetration will be a hard and difficult task, that you might not be able to afford in the short run.