Globalisation means many businesses must look beyond their domestic borders to reach customers and remain competitive. Expanding abroad means more than just replicating your current business model in another country and waiting for the revenue to roll in, as different cultures mean different legislation and buyer behaviour. Below we provide advice on growing your business overseas.
As with all major business decisions, making sure you’ve considered all the possibilities and performed appropriate due diligence is key to mitigating risk. Risk is necessary to succeed in business, and you need to have a full understanding of what you are up against while also being prepared for the outcome should you fail. In the context of expanding your global footprint, risk management means a focus on the logistical hurdles you’ll need to overcome, such as setting up a presence in another country. It also means a look at external considerations - such as the legal and tax system - to maintain full compliance.
Related to the previous point is the need to start again when marketing your product or service, and completing market research as though you were a start-up again. It’s unlikely you can replicate the approach taken at home and be a success in a new location, as your new buyers will have a different mindset, needs and buying habits.
One way to speed up the process of understanding your new market is to hire a team with international experience. This could involve recruiting individuals with a knowledge of the specific location, or of the challenges involved in expanding an organisation into new destinations. Hiring international talent brings a diverse range of experiences into the business, which you can tap into to better connect with new audiences.
One recent innovation that will help you overcome many of the logistical issues of going global is cloud technology. By relocating your IT and data infrastructure to the cloud, anyone from any location who has the authority can access key information, meaning your business can operate efficiently 24/7.
Smartphones continue to rise as the dominant device, and users of mobile payments is expected to reach 450 million by 2017. To remain relevant and meet the needs of your changing audience, your digital presence needs to be mobile-optimised.
Globalisation has opened the door to new opportunities for businesses, and should you choose to take advantage of them, the benefits can be huge.
Do you want to know how to avoid the common pitfalls which companies fail to overcome when trading abroad and what you should look out for? Go directly to our download center and download the eBook for free!