Having a growth strategy is one of the most important steps you can take for your business. If you don’t have your eyes on the next milestone, you risk being overtaken by younger, hungrier brands who’ll dominate the market and leave you without enough revenue to keep the doors open.
Today we’re looking at one vector for growth – doing business internationally.
The Advantages of a Global Market
One of the big advantages of selling your products around the world is that your business becomes more stable. When you rely on the customers in a single market – even a single town – you exist on their whim and are at their sufferance. If a competitor moves into town, or the local trends simply move away from what you offer, you have to scrabble to catch up.
Moving to a global position means you’re freed for overreliance on any one market. As trends change at home, your customers abroad keep the revenue flowing, giving you the stability and time needed to adapt to those changing circumstances.
Preparation is vital before you extend your operation to new customers in foreign markets. There’s a much bigger job to do than simple translation – the logistical challenge of sustainably, reliably being able to deliver to customers in a new country is considerable, whether it’s just across the border or halfway across the world.
Working with a market research firm can help you prepare – international research gives you vital insights into how you can tune your marketing and price point to the local culture and helps to reduce the risk of a costly failure of this expansion effort.
Legal and Financial Help
Shipping across the world is not simply a measure of taking orders and shipping out products. If you’re not compliant with local regulations, taxation guidelines and import and export practice you could run into some serious trouble. Even in the best case scenario, you might find your customers unexpectedly have to pay a duty to customs before they can collect their product, which is an excellent way to undermine their loyalty to this new brand.
In more serious scenarios you could find that you are hit with fines or even court summons which could effectively bring an end to your business at home and abroad!
Consulting with expert lawyers and accounts before you begin can help you make sure you don’t fall for any pitfalls in your new markets – it might cost to get the best advice, but a false economy could cost you even more in the long run!