Are you thinking of expanding or introducing your business to the international market? There are several ways to do this but first, understand your target market well. Are their product modifications you need to carry out to become relevant to the market? Whether you operate a new home business or a big local franchise, you can still go ahead and try international markets. It doesn’t matter how long your company has been operating, but as long as you are willing to put in the required effort and time, you can do it. Where do you start?
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After deciding which markets you want to target, the next step is building awareness. If you already have a website that serves your local market needs, it’s time to transform it into international standards. Have the website content translated into the international language of choice, making it easier for your target audience to understand your business.
When done by a professional, desktop publishing ensures your content’s meaning doesn’t get lost, and at the same time, the translation uses appropriate language and design.
Every market is unique, and the easiest way to penetrate a new market is to understand its needs, preferences and expectations. Your local marketing approach may not work in the international market; therefore, take time to understand the best process to use. If you have been using a lot of social media marketing, learn the most effective marketing tool in the new market.
On the same note, you may have to change the branding, product size and even improve the quality to make your products relevant in the new market. Take time to analyze competitor products that are doing well and aim to upgrade yours.
Do you want to operate a purely online business or establish a physical store in the new region? You may choose to export goods to the new territory, which means that you won’t have to cater for the cost of establishing a new manufacturing plant. Another option is licensing, where you give a company in the target region the right to trade, manufacture and market the products using your trademarks.
Licensing is a cheaper option because you don’t have to cater to the marketing and production costs. The returns may also be higher than when exporting or having a joint venture.
How you enter the market largely depends on your financial power. A large scale entry may cost more, but it will make your presence in the new market easily recognizable. However, because you are not sure of how well your products will do, go slow. Enter the market on a small scale which may take longer to yield substantial results, but the risks will be low.
Every market has its unique challenges; therefore, take time to study the new markets. If possible, visit the region to learn its culture, market trends, competition, government and other requirements. It also pays to network with business leaders who might be influential as you try to penetrate the new region.