Are you looking to expand your business to a global market? While the prospect is quite exciting, there are some things you may want to know before setting your sights on any one country. Not all countries have the same laws governing foreign registration for doing business in their markets, so perhaps the first thing to do is look at what it takes to succeed in international business.
Start with a Strong Understanding of International Markets
Before launching in foreign markets, you might want to consider advancing your business administration degree. You can in fact get a Masters in Business Management online, or an MSc in Global Business Management, from Aston University. This is where you’ll get the needed background in launching an international business as well as exposure on marketing that business wherever you decide to launch. You can continue growing your business because the course is 100% online from a high-ranking UK university without missing a beat. By the time you earn your degree you could realistically be operating in multiple countries and all because you applied what you learned along the way.
Specific Strategies per Market
One thing you will want to be aware of from the very beginning is that international markets may not always be as open to new products in your industry. Quite often there are cultural differences which make it difficult to enter that particular market. For example, some products may not sell as well in Middle Eastern countries because of their strict religious beliefs. You need to base your strategy market by market, although you will carry your brand the same throughout. That can present a challenge but with a strong background in international markets, it’s not something that can’t be overcome. You may want to start with a comparison of similar products or services in that market so that you can attack rather than react. Understanding each individual market gives you a strong place from which to start. However, as mentioned, not all markets will be amenable to your particular industry, so keep this in mind when researching. The best advice would be to move on. Time is too valuable to waste.
Rely Heavily on Your Team
While you may be starting with a local team, there is no reason why you can’t branch out to international markets when building a global team. It always helps to have a cultural perspective when launching in new markets and this is where your team will be of invaluable assistance. The knowledge you gain through that MSc Global Business Management degree along with a local ‘feel’ for each market is a combination designed for success. This is one area where many global ventures fail. Knowing this, it is important to really hear what your team is telling you. Don’t be afraid to strategize in different ways than you have become accustomed to in your own market. Some things are simply culturally unacceptable in other areas of the world. Also, what sells at home may not make an impact in another region of the world and this is why a global business degree is a solid foundation from which to start.
Understand the Risks
There will always be risks involved when launching a business, even on a local level, but those risks are intensified when reaching out to a global audience. It is imperative that you carefully understand and weigh the risks when entering an international market. Team leaders are always preparing their teams for risks they may encounter but in a global market, those risks might come from a totally unexpected source. This is another reason why it pays to have team members from various regions of the world. They will be better aware of local risks and may be able to help you avoid those which might not be readily apparent. When working in your own market most risks have already been addressed but, in a new international market, the risks may be totally different than the risks you face at home.
Homework and Due Diligence
Some of the leading marketers from around the globe advise that it is of utmost importance to take as much time as you need to do your homework when entering a new market. Nothing can be more foreign than a foreign market, no pun intended, so it will take extra time and careful study to understand what works in each individual place you hope to launch. Whether you are launching an online global business venture or local land-based companies or branches, each market will be different, and it isn’t always about marketing. Local laws will obviously vary and some countries will be more amenable to foreign enterprises than others. Singapore, for instance, is quite accepting of foreign ventures but there are many countries around the world where it is quite difficult to get the licenses and permits needed to do business in their territories.
A New Perspective on “Time Is of the Essence”
Especially in the world of real estate, when seeking signatures on a contract you are going to hear, “Time is of the essence.” This generally means that there is no time to waste because some other buyer will scoop up the deal while you are procrastinating. When it comes to working in foreign markets, this cliché works in the reverse. Time is of the essence, but you need to take all the time you need to make sound business decisions. Don’t be in a rush to get things done in your excitement to enter that market. It is far better to be prepared for any eventuality you may be confronted with than to jump in with eyes closed.
Remember, the best way to prepare yourself for launching businesses in foreign markets is to have a solid foundation in global business principles. That degree may take a couple years but along the way you will be gaining much-needed insight. It may take two years of study, but you may just learn enough to launch much quicker than that.