Expanding your business internationally is an exciting venture. Meeting new clients, suppliers, staff and learning all about a new market are things that many business owners look forward to for years. And when the time comes, it’s important to proceed at the right pace, to take your time in expanding and of course to do it right.
When it comes time to expand internationally, there a number of challenges and hurdles you are bound to face along the way. Overcoming these difficulties in as timely a manner as possible is critical to moving into new markets efficiently and successfully. It can be a daunting undertaking if you are not organised and do not properly consider the challenges you will face.
Here are our tips for mitigating the risks of expanding internationally.
1. Assess Your Reasons for Expanding
Before you jump in with two feet, take some time to properly weigh up the reasons for expanding your business in the first place. You need to know your specific goals before making any rushed moves. Are you looking to further serve an existing foreign market or perhaps you have experienced a lack of growth in your home market? Whatever the case may be, you should be as specific as possible with your reasons for expanding so you can tailor your market entry strategy accordingly.
2. Be Realistic With Your Budget
There’s no doubt that this is one of the most complicated tasks, however, it is definitely one of the most important. The last thing you want is to hugely underestimate the required resources and drain the financial backing for your core operations. Have a contingency plan in place if the situation arises that you overrun by 50% or 100%. Costs are different across the board from country to country – always plan thoroughly.
3. Conduct In-Depth Market Research
Be thorough in your market research and don’t rush it. You can make or break your chances of succeeding in a new marketplace if you don’t do your market research correctly. You don’t want any nasty surprises down the line with competitors coming out of nowhere and challenging you head on. You need to fully understand the requirements of your customers and ensure that you can indeed meet them. An innovative way to take baby steps into the market so you learn a little more on the ground is through use of a virtual office. This will give you the opportunity to have a local postal address to receive documents and messages locally. See http://www.servcorp.com.sg/en/virtual-offices/ to learn more about virtual offices in Singapore.
4. Gain an Understanding of the Local Culture
It seems the world is becoming more and more connected all the time but it is important to remember that business is conducted in different ways in different places. As you expand your business into new countries and cultures, it’s important to be aware of some of the cultural differences you may face. Language, greetings, how money is handled and even work hours can all change from place to place. Likewise, the way in which people interact with each other can also be very different to what you might be used to. Take some time to gain an understanding of the country you are expanding into and take the necessary steps so you and your colleagues can adapt with ease.
Expanding your business into a new market can be an overwhelming task but by taking it step-by-step you can easily mitigate some of the risks involved. Make sure you know exactly why you are expanding into this new country, what your game plan is and what your objectives are. Assess the local market in detail and ensure that you have gone through your budget with a fine toothcomb. Try and gain some understanding of how the locals do business so you can start out with your best foot forward when you arrive. Follow these straightforward steps and your business stands every chance of success in a new market.