As visionary business leaders seek to capitalize on global markets, they face many challenges and options. New and veteran entrepreneurs alike must make critical decisions, such as selecting the best business transaction account, finding the right industry talent to help them expand, or finding new ways to diversify their cash flow streams.
Regardless of how you’re looking to elevate your enterprise and where you’re looking to step, it’s safe to say that every strategic choice carries weight in the pursuit of international success.
Let’s take a closer look at some practical insights to help entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of international business expansion.
Here is a 5-step Guide To Entering Global Markets:
1. Market Research & Analysis
Global markets are dynamic and ever-evolving ecosystems with unique characteristics, preferences, and consumer behaviours that need to be taken into account when strategising for business growth. To navigate these waters successfully, entrepreneurs must start by understanding key components of the markets they’re looking to enter. This includes the size of that market as well as its growth potential. Is it a mature market, or are there aspects of it (and of its consumers) that scream ‘untapped potential’?
Similarly, it can also be beneficial to outline your key demographics. What types of consumers are you most looking to connect with? Building buyer personas can help you get a better gauge of their age, gender, income, and wider buying habits or consumer behaviours. And naturally, knowing who you’re speaking to can further help strengthen your message.
Alongside this funner research and analysis, however, entrepreneurs must also do their due diligence when it comes to preparing for global markets. This means reading up on cultural factors that may impact consumer behaviours, as well as any legal or regulatory considerations that must be made when entering this new market. The last thing you want is for your brand to be immediately identified as being in breach of industry regulations upon its debut in a new market.
2. Map Out Your Entry Strategy
Alongside conducting thorough market research, it’s also essential for entrepreneurs and business owners to consider the best path of action that’s available to them with regards to entering these new global markets. It’s common for businesses to maintain a conservative entry strategy, that is an approach that’s more cautious than aggressive or ‘guns ablazing’. A more cautious strategy that builds your market presence gradually can also be beneficial if you’re looking to enter a market that’s also experienced some rapid growth or evolutions in recent months.
Now is also the perfect time to think about your products or services and their unique selling points (or ‘USPs’). This could be anything from your superior quality, innovation, unique design, competitive price points, exceptional customer service, or simply all of the above. Having a solid understanding of what sets you apart from your new local competitors can naturally be hugely beneficial with regards to developing your localised marketing efforts.
3. Invest In Your Logistics
As an entrepreneur entering global markets, investing in the efficient movement of goods from your production line to your consumer is key for solidifying your presence in global markets. This means finding reliable and prolific suppliers who are capable of providing a consistent supply that meets your expansion goals.
Investing in your logistical management naturally also includes finding the best transportation options when it comes to shipping and distribution of your goods. Would you want your products to be shipped by air, sea, or be carted across land? Do you want your shipping to be carbon offset as well? All of these questions are worth answering now as you chart out your expansion strategy.
It’s also imperative that you identify all import/export regulations and trade tariffs that are relevant to your logistical efforts. You don’t want to be hit with unexpected costs when it finally does come time to arrange your first international shipment. This is guaranteed to be a costly financial mistake that prompts you to return to the drawing board with regards to mapping out your expansion budgets.
4. Managing A Growing Inventory
Speaking of working with reliable and high-capacity suppliers, it’s important to mention that inventory management is yet another vital investment for entrepreneurs looking to expand into global markets. Effective inventory and stock management are crucial for avoiding costly errors and ensuring that your products reach customers on time.
Naturally, the process of inventory management grows more complicated as your inventory grows and you begin to establish warehouses in a growing number of countries or regions. As a result, forecasting market demands must become a high priority for business owners, as doing so can help prevent overstocking or understocking.
And when it comes to managing inventory across national borders, entrepreneurs will also find that technological solutions (i.e. IIoT solutions) become another lucrative investment. These software solutions are equipped with everything you need to stay on top of your stock levels and even streamline your order fulfilment processes.
5. Other Financial Preparations
Finally, it should go without saying that a keen financial strategy that goes beyond accounting basics is crucial when expanding into global markets. This means investing in currency management, and equipping your business with the tools it needs (i.e. a business transaction account) in order to process international transactions. When in doubt, it’s best to look for financial assets that maintain low fees and currency conversion rates.
Similarly, business owners are encouraged to diversify their company’s currency holdings as well as explore hedging options to further protect their business against unfavourable currency fluctuations. Contingency planning is yet another element of this process and will prevent you from experiencing other financial mistakes that accompany a failure to account for unforeseen expenses and market challenges.
And the last point we’ll leave you with today is the simple fact that nobody ever achieves anything alone. If you fear you don’t have the capital to do your global expansion justice, then don’t be afraid to look for partnership opportunities or prospective investors. After all, if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Adequate funding will help ensure that this process does indeed go as well as it can go.
All said and done, you simply cannot be too prepared when it comes to mapping your company’s expansion into global markets. So be sure to cover all the key factors we’ve outlined above when mapping out your own entry strategy. In doing so, you’ll help ensure that your expansion into global markets is as smooth as seamless as your initial entry into your local market.