Experiencing success in business is something to be admired. Cracking the market and making a profit in your own country is a great achievement, and it’s wonderful to watch your business grow from a fledgling start-up to a dominant brand.
After this success however, there becomes a time when you need to consider whether to take your company and products global and it’s not always as easy as it sounds.
There are multiple factors to consider when expanding your brand, just because you’ve had success at home doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have the same fortune in an international market.
Do your due diligence beforehand and research companies that have taken this step before. Understand how they’re expanding and learn from any obvious mistakes they made.
When you’re confident with your knowledge, take these steps towards international expansion:
Research International Markets Beforehand
It’s vital to understand consumer demand in the international markets you wish to expand into, just because their economy is booming does not necessarily mean they’ll be interested in your product.
Research everything from cultural differences to business competition, as you may find a similar product is already dominating the shelves and it might be difficult to stand out. You’ll also get an understanding about whether you’ll need to alter packaging.
Calculate the Cost of Exporting Your Product
You’ll need to assess your current figures and finances, and understand that expanding internationally will be a long-term investment. In order to continue making a profit, you’ll have to consider exchange rates and additional haulage costs to get your product supply around the globe.
When you’ve added up all the figures, it’s vital to assess whether your product is going to be competitive because if the price is too high, it’s unlikely to generate many sales.
Create New Infrastructures and Logistics
Your company cannot physically expand into an additional market if the infrastructure and logistics are not in place to support it, so you’ll need to calculate the investment that needs to be made in order to increase production and sales.
Will your suppliers and manufacturers be able to cope with the increase in production? How long will it take to get your product shipped to foreign countries? How reactive will you be able to be if you’re located on the other side of the world?
All of these questions will need answering before investment is made.
Increase Your Workforce
Reliable staff will need to be put in place in the market you are expanding into, even if they work remotely from a home office or co-working space.
A local team of employees should have greater knowledge of consumer needs and will be able to undertake any customer service requirements.
Any language barriers should also be dealt with here. Don’t forget to consider these additional employment costs into your initial plan, you need to think of every possible outcome before expanding into an international market.