What Will You Need To Do To Expand Your Business Globally?
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You may have heard that expanding into international business markets is a simple way to grow if you own an established small business that is generally successful and profitable. We wouldn’t call it easy, but it can pay off if you’re willing to take the time and effort to learn the process and vernacular. There’s a big world with a target audience interested in your offering. Traditionally you kept your business within your comfort zone – your city, state, or country borders – because you weren’t ready to expand your business globally. However, you are now prepared to chart new ground and take on the world.
If your company wants to embrace globalization, creating a global expansion strategy is critical to its success. Global expansion is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to enter international markets, acquire world-class experts, and position your company for long-term success. Global growth, on the other hand, is nearly impossible without a solid strategy and can result in delays, additional costs, and wasted resources.
To get started in international business, you must go through three stages. Below are the steps for each phase and a rough timeline for how long each phase should take. Expect to spend six to several years preparing for this exciting new facet of your company, from research and planning to initial trips to your target countries.
- Learn the method: Because you already have a day job running your company, expect to spend 6-12 months just learning about the process, the barriers, the options, and potential avenues for expanding into global markets. Spend this time reading, speaking with experts, and learning international business jargon and acronyms. Attend international trade seminars wherever they are available. Begin by researching your local university and business development organizations. Contact existing exporters and support personnel and inquire about their processes, timelines, and any failures or roadblocks they overcame. Seek out a mentor who has been down this path before you.
- Plan ahead: After you’ve spent some time getting your head around the exporting landscape, planning how your specific small business will enter the international business market begins. This phase will require extensive research and networking as you choose your path. Determine how you intend to sell internationally. There are numerous methods for trading internationally. Each has its strategy, planning, and documentation. This overview will help you determine which way is right for your business without diving too deep into export compliance issues.
Discover international market opportunities. Export statistics can show you which countries are importing similar products to yours. You can explore options in countries like Singapore. Registering your business is easy; you must learn how to register a company in Singapore. You can take the help of digital platforms that cater financial management services to businesses.
Examine how your value proposition changes in other countries. What features of your product add value to your domestic customers? These things could change in a foreign market. Investigate and identify cultural differences, such as lifestyle, colors, and packaging, to be accounted for in the final exported product.
- Travel to the country you want to expand your business. Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few countries, it’s time to fly. Attend a trade show to understand consumer preferences and needs in that country. Start by creating a profile of the foreign consumer and determine what changes or adaptations your product will require. On a subsequent trip, you may also contact distributors and sales representatives. And on a third trip, possibly for a trade mission, you might even sign an agreement with a distributor.