International business expansion is perhaps the biggest challenge of them all when it comes to succeeding in the business world. Conquering your primary market and having the resources and ambition to expand into unknown territory is no mean feat, but it must be done right. Otherwise, you could be putting your whole venture at risk. There are a number of fundamental steps you should be taking when planning or starting to conduct international business – we explore some of the more important ones below.
1. Invest in thorough market research
The first step of every international business expansion is thorough market research. This process will identify opportunities and threats in the market or region you are targeting, as well as any operational challenges in terms of marketing, legalities and regulations. Careful attention is needed in the market research phase because any missed information could be damaging to the project down the line.
You may want to form an in-house team to carry out the market research and report back their findings before planning and strategising begins. Alternatively, you can outsource market research if you have the money to invest. Either way, the research needs to be comprehensive so you can have all the information you need to start drawing up your strategy.
2. Experience the region for yourself
Whether you’re an executive or lower-level employee managing the international business expansion project, spending some time in the region you are targeting can be extremely helpful. You can absorb elements of the culture and understand the market in greater depth, allowing you to tailor your strategy and action plans more specifically. Perhaps partnering with a private aviation group like Vista Global could help you manage operations overseas.
Being present in the region can also help with tasks such as setting up supply and partner networks. Furthermore, any regional operation will almost certainly require local labour or employees – these are easier to source with representation on the ground rather than hundreds or thousands of miles away.
3. Consult local experts
Consult local experts is another important tip for succeeding in International Business. Foreign markets are tricky to navigate. As such, it can be productive to consult local experts when you’re first entering a region. They will have a better understanding of the business environment and etiquette if you weren’t already familiar. Language barriers are also a common challenge for businesses expanding overseas, and communication is vital for all operations.
4. Learn from mistakes
Any company will inevitably make mistakes when expanding overseas for the first time, it’s part and parcel of business all over the globe. However, it’s not how many times you fail – it’s how much you learn from those mistakes and apply your learnings to your benefit in the future. Some failures will be more costly than others, but all are a learning opportunity.
International business expansion is a relentless challenge, but done in the right manner and with the right preparation it can be a massive success for your company. The opportunity for growth is almost endless if you can conquer international markets. Are you ready to expand?