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Things to Consider Before Expanding into Foreign Markets

James Crowder | 27 July 2017

Businesswoman looking out at brainstorm drawings in cloudy landscape.jpegIf your business is doing well locally, you might be tempted to expand globally to capture a wider audience and gain market exposure throughout the world. It’s a tough decision to make, and before you venture abroad, you need to be prepared. With solid research and planning, your business could be reaping huge rewards. So before you take that big step, here are some key aspects to consider.

  1. Will your brand meet the desires of foreign markets?

No matter how established your brand is locally, you’ll still need to do some research and groundwork to ensure your business is a success in a new region. You might have to customise your service or product to meet local consumers' tastes. If the market you’re expanding into speaks a different language, you need to localise your marketing message and make sure the translation is accurate. Having a clear understanding about who lives in the community and what they value is absolutely vital. To get a better idea of the local culture, speak to your potential customers and find out how they like to do business.

  1. Do you have the bench strength or start-up costs for international expansion?

Firstly, you can’t do this venture by yourself. Can you afford to move one or two senior employees from their current responsibilities into a new market? And can they quickly learn the necessary skills for foreign marketing? Do you have enough capital to start with this venture in the first place? You should have a long-term financial plan—with more than start-up capital, so you’re prepared for any bumps along the way. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day so you’re not going to make a profit right away.

  1. Do you need an international partner?

You might feel like you’re in over your head when it comes to constantly changing local regulations and requirements. Even the smallest misunderstanding can cause complications. An international partner can help facilitate sales and help with banking, legal and tax requirements. Find a partner with the proper expertise and global footprint to assist you throughout your international expansion.

  1. Have I sized up the local talent and competition?

It’s important to get to know who your competitors are and if there are enough skilled candidates you can recruit. This will give you an idea of what you need to offer to successfully compete with them. A competitor could have similar services and products. Spend some time abroad and try to get a feel of the market.  A great way to recruit local candidates would be to check out educational institutions.

Expanding into unchartered waters can be daunting. But with the right strategy, you can overcome barriers and make the most of any competitive advantages. If your business is ready to expand, GCL can assist you with international telemarketing and lead generation services.

If you want to know more about expanding into international markets, download our guide.

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