For most businesses, expansion into additional markets is always the end goal. However, when it comes to expanding overseas some very particular issues must be considered carefully. The good news is you can read all about them in our post below.
Before you do anything else it is essential that you perform your due diligence and check there is a viable market for your product in the locations you are considering. Of course, what this means is doing market research which should include not only collecting info on your target demographic in a new location but wider issues such as what the market and your closest competition are doing as well. Indeed, it is this valuable information that will help you develop the most effective strategy and business plan for your expansion.
Develop an expansion strategy
Once you have conducted your research you can apply this information and use it to inform your expansion strategy. In particular, your strategy needs to outline issues such as budgets, goals, and timelines. Remember that all of this needs to take into account the specifics of the location you will be working in, such as local festivals and celebrations as this can significantly impact potential customers’ likelihood (or not) of making a purchase).
Translate your marketing and packaging
While you may be very happy with the way your marketing and packaging works in English, leaving it that way is a mistake if you are looking to crack the local overseas market. Indeed products with marketing and packaging in English only can alienate potential customers, and cause them to choose a more local option. With this in mind, make sure that product information and marketing are all available in the local language if you want to succeed.
Get some face time with your clients and global team
When expanding your business overseas, the reality of the situation is that you will be a long way from the people you are serving and working with. Of course, communication is, in many ways, easier these days because of email, text, and the internet. Although it’s worth noting that better business and customer relationships are always built face-to-face.
With that in mind, paying a visit to your expansion location to make meaningful connections with members of your team, and meet clients in person can be a way of providing invaluable information. Obviously, due to the Pandemic, face-to-face travel isn’t always practical or possible right now, so a mid-way compromise of using video chat can be the most sensible option here.
Secure your infrastructure
Next, before you can crack the overseas market you will need to check that your business’s infrastructure will hold up and function efficiently under all that extra strain. First of all, you will need to ensure your product is perfect for the market in question and is ready to be manufactured and shipped in larger numbers. After all, you don’t want to get flooded with overseas orders and then not be able to meet them in a reasonable time frame.
In particular, remember shipping your product internationally can make your business vulnerable to delays, especially when there is an issue clearing customs. Fortunately, you can maximize your chance of avoiding such delays by using a professional customs clearance service. This is because such services will help your shipments clear customers faster, for less, and with less stress!
As well as making sure your product is ready to go, you will also need to focus on your team. Indeed, when expanding globally it can help a great deal to have a dedicated team working on location. Such a team should be made up of both local employees or partners, and some of your best problem solvers and salespeople from head office. It’s this combination that will ensure you hit the ground running and mobilize your business as quickly and effectively as possible.
Last of all, before you are ready to expand your business globally, you will need to check that your products and practices are compliant with the laws and rules in the location in which you are working.
Of course, this will differ greatly from location to location so it’s a good idea to get the help of a local legal team that can explain any issues and supports you in making them right. In particular, you will need to be aware of issues such as labor laws, how to display ingredient lists, copyright and trademark regulations. You will also need to consider tax laws and making sure you have a good understanding of what is required of you from the get-go is vital if you want your overseas expansion to be a success.