It takes a lot of research and a viable business plan to ensure that your bid for international expansion pays off. If you plan to introduce your business to an international market, whether by an export regime or via expansive policies, you are doing so at the right time. Demand for quality goods and services is increasing in the world and with the advent of global supply chains, numerous free trade agreements and technical advances in the transportation and telecommunication sectors, doing business internationally has become a lot easier.
However, despite all these positive developments there is still a significant amount of risk involved on your part while considering the international expansion of your business. To curtail this risk factor, you need to adopt a strategic and layered approach towards international growth. You need to keep in mind that setting up operations abroad or exporting your goods is by no means a fast cash exercise. Rather, it is a long-term commitment that requires sustained effort on your part to bring your investment to fruition.
Here are some essential steps that need to be followed to guarantee the success of your international expansion.
Take a look at your resources
Any bid for international expansion should begin with a bit of self-reflection. Take a long hard look at the resources available at your disposal. Do these resources guarantee to sustain the growth model you have envisaged for your company in a foreign market? Generally, you need to look at the following four types of resources and analyze them for their viability:
- Does your company have enough financial resources available to it that could aid in your long-term foreign commitment?
- Is your company’s leadership content with the expansion plan and is on board with the policy? Also, are you willing to or are ready to hire complimentary expertise to support the task in front of your business’s management?
- Is your team viable enough to meet the pressure of sales and marketing in a foreign country? If not, what additional human resources do you require for your project?
- Finally, are your products and services able to compete with similar local offerings in the foreign market of your choice? If not, are you able to tailor them to the needs of your target customers in the pertinent market?
Search for the best market
After you have taken a look at your resources and have deemed them satisfactory, now is the time to get involved in market research. Screen all potential markets and list them objectively in the wake of the opportunities and risk factors that come with them. It is important to conduct the SWOT analysis during the shortlisting phase to ensure the feasibility of your business plan and draw up a market-entry strategy for the market you deem as the perfect choice. Also, in the SWOT analysis don’t forget to incorporate local customs, culture and business etiquette. They are essential in tailoring your product’s specifications and your business’s collaboration with local companies.
Plan and execute
Finally, you follow the market entry business plan. Pay heed to the development of a strategic and specific concept for the impeccable implementation of your business idea or product. In short, look towards following the market entry strategy as closely as possible and put in the required effort in attaining your goals within the requisite timeframe.