Growth is a part of the natural cycle of a business’ life. After the rocky days of its initial launch, and the stabilisation that comes with finding your loyal customers and generating a stable flow of revenue, a business needs to look to the future. If you’re not thinking about growth, you stand to miss out opportunities that will be pounced on by more competitive opponents, which could see your brand driven from the marketplace!
One of the most popular ways to grow a business is to launch into foreign markets. Today we’re taking a look at this option. Is it the right one for you? How will your business fare abroad?
Understanding the Risks
It’s tempting to think of foreign expansion as all benefit and no cost. You have a proven product, a popular brand, and satisfied customers at home. Why shouldn’t you export that success to countries around the world?
Unfortunately, there are lots of risks that can erode that potential success. Before launching into international business, you need to conduct some international research. This can tell you, at the most basic level if there is any demand for your services in the market you’re targeting. If you don’t know the state of your industry in the country you’re targeting, you could find yourself trying to launch your brand into a market where consumers’ needs are already supplied by a popular, established local business!
Compensating for the Risks
When you’ve worked with the right specialists to compile a full dossier of the research you need, rewrite your plans, including the measures you need to take to compensate for the risks you’ve identified.
You might need to rewrite (rather than merely translate) your advertising to ensure it resonates with the culture of the market you’re newly targeting. If success, happiness, cleanliness, or whatever the outcome you’re selling isn’t signified the same way in your new target market, then your marketing could fall flat, and fail to build you a loyal core of customers.
You also need to consider the cost of doing business in a foreign market. If you’re shipping goods abroad, there are more costs to consider than simply getting the item there safely: you need to think about import and customs fees, as well as the taxes you may be liable for in this new market. It’s a worthwhile investment to get advice from a shipping agent, so you know how much you can expect to pay realistically to get customers their products.
When you compare the projected demand with the costs of meeting it, you’ll find you have a more realistic way to judge if your business will work on an international scale!