Research Widely on Potential Markets
When taking your business international, it is very important that you conduct a thorough research on your potential market. A product/service targeted at the wrong type of customer could be a nightmare for you.
Start with realizing why your product or service is needed, focusing on what problem it can solve. Research about who your target market is, their average age group, gender and maybe income group too. What are the characteristics of your target market, how do they shop? Do they like to visit the market in person or are they more comfortable shopping online?
When taking your business international, it is very important that you first develop contacts in the foreign country. These contacts range from people who would help you distribute your products to people who are going to sell your products. You also need to get in contact with vendors for raw material in case you need to setup a production line in the foreign country.
Understand Regional Laws
Get in touch with government and authorities to make yourself aware of the regional laws for conducting business in the country. Countries may have different policies for the sale of goods that may be allowed in other countries. Tax, intellectual property and other corporate laws may not work in your favor, so you need to be well aware of all this before you can go ahead and conduct business.
Develop a Solid Business Plan
Each market has its own particular boundaries because of social, administrative, and economic situations. It is imperative to build up a standard procedure and marketable strategy that fulfills the requirement of the market while staying incorporated with the essence of your brand.
- Define short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies.
- Set measureable targets to measure progress and cost/benefits.
- Decide whether to set up a separate office, franchise or e-commerce/m-commerce platform if the business is to be conducted online or are you simply going to be exporting the goods.
- Decide the annual budget
Spread Brand Awareness
When tapping into the international market it is very important to create brand awareness. It is not necessary that the new market you are tapping into would already be aware of your brand and products.
You are facing the global market, so you have to be careful with the message you send out there as what may appear charming in the U.S. may mean something offensive in another region. Your message should be in perfect alignment with the cultural values of the region.
When deciding to tap into an international market, you must realize that it’s not going to be easy. The process could be time taking and difficult but it is very important that you do not lose hope.
Be sure to take help from all the platforms available to you, try and create a difference in your business from your competitors in the new country. The difference could be as small as having a mobile app for your business.