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Are You And Your Business Ready For Global Expansion?

We all know that any undertaking — whether it is a personal hobby or a business idea — needs to be developed logically. Nobody likes to stop when they can see new horizons up ahead. If we are talking about a hobby, then there are no specific rules or tactics: It all depends on individual talent and potential.

But developing a business is another matter. Once a company has achieved success in its home market, the next logical step is often to move overseas. And here it is very important not only to assess your strengths in a sober way, but also to make the right choice of region to begin your international expansion, as well as to take a conscious approach to adapt the business for new markets.

Start gathering information and talk to professionals with experience in the market.

My experience of entering the international market serves as an example. As the first step on my company’s road to expansion, we chose a number of international offline events and used them to talk to colleagues in related fields who had similar experiences in particular regions. Let me tell you right away that this was the most rewarding part of the study. In an informal setting, people told us about all the pitfalls lurking behind the glossy success stories that we had found on the Internet. This helped us to determine specific criteria that was important to review for each region.

Moreover, an important factor is to know if the market is willing the product and clear evaluation of its potential. It will be helpful to make CastDev interviews, determine the ideal clients’ profile, and make a USP (unique selling proposition).

Research tax requirements and business activity in the region.

The next stage is to study indicators of the development of your industry by country and assess the potential for your business. Also spend time researching the competitive environment in the regions of interest to you.

Study the tax and other conditions of business activity, in order to select a location for the company’s headquarters. As a result of a detailed analysis of the information we obtained, we identified several potentially interesting countries. We looked for high population density and rapidly increasing interest in our industry.

Tailor your communication and marketing materials to fit with local markets.

In addition to assessing the potential of a new market, do not forget about the importance of preparing and localizing all your marketing materials, as well as developing a strategy for positioning your brand and products with specific values (your value proposition). This is an obvious point, of course; but it is extremely important in each region!

Interestingly, we found the best format for presenting information about products was not a tired and familiar PowerPoint presentation, but a video format and a real demonstration. The local market we were interested in was more focused on performance and practical results than on empty slogans. This practical approach prompted us to correct the way we described our solutions by reorganizing the presentation of the material in a media format with an emphasis on short animated videos.

Do not forget about the difference in mentality when dealing with foreign customers and partners, either. This creates differences in doing business in general and in planning and implementing individual stages of projects in particular. For example, in our case, face-to-face contact with a customer or partner was critical for a project to move forward.

This experience helped me improve my business skills as a leader, gave me a clear understanding that your approach and interaction patterns depend on the specific market, and allowed me to go beyond the usual set patterns.

As a farewell, I would like to advise business leaders to make a deep marketing research, study competitors if any exists and count the numbers twice.