Your business is doing great locally: you’ve got a great staff, loyal customers, and you provide high-quality services. It’s time to think about expanding and since you’re here, I am assuming, you are making your first step toward going global. Let me tell you, you are about to embark an adventurous journey with ups and downs. As much as I want your journey to be a picnic, it won’t be. And the least I can do is share some tips with you that have proven to help businesses with this mission. I won’t bore you with the side talk, so ladies and gentlemen, here is what you should do to take your business to the next level.
Are you competitive enough to the global market?
The last thing I want to do is scare you or discourage you but for the sake of being objective, I have to say it. The global market is chock-full of enterprises that offer services and products like you (if you represent an innovation then good for you). Your team is going to face a whole lot of competition out there. The minimum you can do to prepare yourself to fight for the title of 'best' is getting licensed. License ensures your security both legally and financially. Don’t jeopardize your revenue and reputation. Not being licensed can result in fines from the government. The point is, to win a competition, you first need to enter it. Obvious, right? Get that license and enter that competition without losing any more time.
Research your target market
'Global' is a wide term, are you an America-based company and want to expand to Europe or vice versa? Each market has its own demand, requirements, and needs. Without analyzing these factors, I guarantee you will be just jogging along. If you want the global market to embrace you then you’ll have to offer them something they can’t resist. Here is a little help with market research. According to Grant Leboff, principal of the Sticky Marketing Club, there are 6 steps to defining target market:
- Understand the problems that you solve
- Who will gain from the value in your offer?
- Look internally at your company
- What else is available?
- Think about your market
- Paint a picture of the customer
Get your paperwork in order
Let’s face it, your database and shelves are full of documents that you need every second. Moving to a global market entails more paperwork. Contracts, balance sheets, let alone the documents of the HR department. International markets mean another language of operation and paperwork. So to spare you the trouble have a certified translation service ready to translate any urgent documents that you might need.
Find trustworthy partners abroad
Going global is like moving to live in another country. Who can give you the best tour of the city and tell you about the country? Of course, locals. Now, imagine that local is your friend. Even better, right? The same applies to businesses, partners can introduce you to the market, assist you with networking and give you handful of tips to succeed. Your company is going to need supporting relationships with companies of different niches, advertising, for instance. So, keep in mind that finding partners overseas and collaborating with them, is only for the best.
Don’t forget about your initial location
This is a common and rookie mistake among businessmen. They get excited about their new international branch and want to perform well. As a result, the attention redirects to the new location. Your first store in back home is the basis of your business and if anything goes wrong with it, I’m sorry to say, you’re in big trouble. Now, you have to spend twice as much effort and time to maintain the balance between both branches. No one claims it will be easy, but with good staff, it’s a fun struggle.
There you have it, tips and suggestion that will organize your plans of going global. Going global - doesn’t it sound epic? It does, maybe because it is epic. Brace yourself, it’s going to be challenging but also rewarding. Good luck!