Expanding your business internationally can be a risky venture, but not without its rewards as well. You’ll reach many new consumers and gain access to new markets that you may have never had access to otherwise. To successfully expand your business internationally, there are some things you’ll need to do to prepare yourself first.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to prepare yourself and your business for international expansion so that you don’t encounter problems when it comes time to reach these new markets.
Steps for Expanding Your Business Internationally
When you have never ventured internationally, you might feel intimidated. But many successful businesses have done this successfully, so you can learn from them. Below are six easy steps you can take to successfully expand your business overseas while increasing sales.
Part 1: Register Your Trademark Globally
If you want to expand your business internationally, the first step is to register your trademark globally. This will help protect your brand and give you the legal standing to pursue any infringements.
There are a few different ways to go about this, so be sure to do your research and choose the option that makes the most sense for your business.
One of the more popular methods is by registering in individual countries through their intellectual property office (IPO).
Another method would be to use an international trademark agent who can file for registration on your behalf in multiple jurisdictions.
The benefit of using an agent is that they’ll also provide guidance and advice regarding future international expansion, so it’s worth considering if you’re just starting.
Part 2: Research the Target Market
The first step is to identify a target market. Do some research to find out where your products or services are in demand.
Once you’ve pinpointed a few potential markets, it’s time to learn about the customs and regulations of those countries.
Make sure you’re familiar with the paperwork and red tape involved in setting up shop abroad. The last thing you want is to get caught up in a costly and time-consuming bureaucratic nightmare.
For example, if you sell food items from country A to country B, ensure that country B doesn’t have any restrictions on importing certain types of food. That can save you lots of trouble later on.
As always, consult an attorney before making any international business moves so they can help you navigate these complicated waters.
Your goal is to find a location where your product or service will be welcomed with open arms because there are no competitors and high demand.
Part 3: Localize your Website
Making your website multilingual is one of the first and most important steps you can take when expanding your business internationally.
After all, how can customers in other countries find and purchase your products or services if they can’t even understand your website?
Localizing your site not only involves translating the text but also making sure that any images, videos, and other multimedia are appropriate for the local culture.
One way to do this is by replacing English words with those from a target language; however, this approach may be met with resistance by some locals who don’t want to be forced to read English words on their web pages.
A better alternative would be to replace the English words with symbols (for example Coca-Cola could become Κοκα Κολ).
Part 4: Understand Host Country Laws, Regulations, and Censorship
Understand Host Country Laws, Regulations, and Censorship Before starting your business in a new country, it is important to learn about the host country’s laws.
First, read up on any local regulations that may affect your business. Next, review any censorship rules that apply to your industry. Finally, consult with an expert if you are unsure of what you need to do.
Part 5: Use Data to Map Buyer Personas
One of the most important steps in expanding your business internationally is to understand your target market.
By creating buyer personas, you can get a better sense of who your ideal customer is and what needs they have.
Buyer personas are also helpful for identifying potential opportunities, such as new distribution channels or cross-selling products.
For example, a company might create one persona for customers who are primarily working parents with high household incomes who want their purchase to be hassle-free and another persona for people who live in rural areas with lower incomes but spend more time at home cooking from scratch.
Part 6: Hire a Localization Agency
Localization is key when expanding your business internationally. You need to make sure that your website and all marketing materials are translated into the local language.
The best way to do this is to hire a localization agency. They will help you with everything from website translation to the creation of localized marketing campaigns.
A good agency will also help provide feedback on your original content, ensuring it is culturally appropriate. When looking for an agency, it’s important to find one who has experience working in your industry.
Advantages of Expanding Your Business Internationally
If you’re not already thinking about expanding your business internationally, now may be the time to start, because doing so can be incredibly beneficial to your company.
From gaining access to new markets to improving your bottom line through cost savings and tax benefits, international expansion has many advantages that can serve as a springboard for success in the global marketplace.
These are just some of the top eight advantages of expanding your business internationally.
1) Higher sales through economies of scale
If you can successfully sell your product or service in one country, there’s a good chance you can do it in another.
When you expand your business internationally, you tap into new markets and open yourself up to higher sales through economies of scale.
People around the world may want what you’re selling so you’ll be able to reach more customers with more products. You’ll also be able to manufacture your products on-site which will lower costs and give consumers an even better price point for their purchase.
For example, Nike could cut their production costs by 25% when they moved their factories from the United States overseas where labor is cheaper and regulations are less strict than in America.
2) A larger market means more growth opportunities
When you expand your business internationally, you immediately open up your business to a larger market. This means more potential customers and more opportunities for growth.
Expanding internationally can help you diversify your customer base, which can protect your business in the event of an economic downturn in one particular market.
3) Gain A Competitive Advantage
When you expand your business internationally, you gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in your industry that has not expanded.
You also tap into new markets and grow your customer base. Expanding internationally can help you diversify your business and reduce your reliance on any market or region.
4) Increase Your Revenue Potential
When you expand your business internationally, you’re essentially opening up a whole new market for your products or services.
This can lead to a significant increase in revenue and profits. You’ll be able to tap into new customer segments that may be interested in what you offer.
5) Access to new suppliers, products, and raw materials
One advantage of expanding your business internationally is that you’ll have access to new suppliers, products, and raw materials. This can help you lower your costs and improve your product quality. It can help you tap into new markets and find new customers.
6) Easier access to financing because of new markets
Besides having easier access to finance, having offices in multiple countries can give you access to new markets and potentially attract more investors. It can allow your business to grow and expand into new markets.
7) An opportunity to grow your team with experienced workers
One advantage of expanding your business internationally is the opportunity to grow your team with experienced workers.
With a global workforce, you can tap into a larger pool of talent and find employees with the skills and experience you need. Plus, working with international employees can help you gain new perspectives and insights into your business.
8) The chance to reach more people with unique products and services
There’s an enormous world out there, and expanding your business internationally can help you reach more people with your unique products and services.
When you enter new markets, you have the chance to tap into new customer bases and grow your business in ways you never thought possible.
Plus, with the right market research and planning, you can minimize the risks associated with expanding into fresh territory. Here are eight advantages of expanding your business internationally.
9. Expansion allows you to diversify
One of the primary advantages of expanding your business internationally is that it allows you to diversify your products and services.
This is important because it allows you to tap into new markets and gain a competitive edge. Expanding internationally allows you to spread the risk associated with your business.
This is because if one market experiences a downturn, you will still have other needs to rely on.
Factors to Consider When Expanding Your Business Internationally
Expanding your business internationally can be an extremely exciting endeavor, but it’s not always the easiest process.
If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, consider these five key factors before making the jump abroad and save yourself a lot of time and trouble in the process!
1) Market Research
Whether you’re looking to expand into new markets or open a satellite office in another country, market research is an essential first step. Here are five key factors to consider when conducting market research for your business expansion
1) Is there a large market with the same language?
2) What about cultural similarities?
3) What about geographical proximity?
4) How much does it cost to start up and maintain operations in the target market?
5) Are there enough qualified employees in the target market?
If you can answer these questions before investing in a new international location, then you’ll be better prepared to plan your next steps.
2) Economic and Political Landscape
When expanding your business internationally, it’s important to be aware of the economic and political landscape of your target country.
Unstable economies and/or volatile governments can make doing business difficult, so it’s important to do your research and know what you’re getting into before deciding.
Paying attention to these details will help ensure that you have a sturdy base for success when entering a new market.
3) Laws and Regulations
One of the first things you need to do when expanding your business internationally is research the laws and regulations of the countries you’re interested in.
You’ll need to make sure your business complies with all local laws, which can vary significantly from country to country.
There are several resources available online to help you with this research. For instance, the World Bank publishes an annual Doing Business report that rates the ease of doing business in 190 countries worldwide on 11 factors, including property rights, taxes, starting a business, etc.
The United States State Department publishes an annual Investment Climate Statement that analyzes factors like foreign investment restrictions and how well investors are protected by law and regulation.
The US Commercial Service also provides information about doing business abroad on their website at www.trade.gov
4) Language, Culture, and Norms
No matter how big or small your business is, expanding into a new country comes with a unique set of challenges.
One of the most important things to consider is the language barrier. Even if you’re doing business in a country where English is the primary language, there may be key phrases or terms that are unfamiliar to you.
It’s important to do your research and learn as much as you can about the local culture and norms before doing business in a new country.
For example, some countries have strict dress codes for men (e.g., wearing long pants).
5) How much time are you willing to invest in the project?
When expanding your business internationally, you need to consider how much time you’re willing to invest in the project.
Depending on the size and scope of your project, it could take months or even years to get everything up and running. You need to be prepared for a long-term commitment if you want your expansion to be successful.
How will international operations impact your day-to-day responsibilities?: One thing that’s important to consider is how operating overseas will impact your day-to-day responsibilities.
If there are tasks that can’t wait until you return from an overseas trip, who will handle them? If someone else has been taking care of those tasks while you were away, what type of instruction will they need?
If going global has been in your business plans for some time, the above outlines will help you prepare for international expansion. If you are looking for other ways to scale your business, check our article on how to scale a small Business.