It’s common for small business owners and entrepreneurs to venture into the global market after becoming a local success. Global expansion is often the most logical and strategic step when thinking about business growth, especially for small business expansion. But why the international market? Because it’s the ultimate hub for tapping into hundreds of different markets where the possibilities and profits are endless. Besides, small businesses can conveniently enter the international market through online business models.
Globalization allows businesses to access a wider pool of talent and extend the sales life of their products. And that is why you’re here because expanding your small business and turning it into a giant global organization is your long-run vision. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to determine the “why” and “how” if you’re going to take the next big step for your venture. So, how can you smartly expand your small business globally without the risk of failure?
Let’s take a look.
- Determine and select the right market
When it comes to deciding on a market for global expansion, it is not about going big. It’s imperative to ensure that your target market aligns with your business philosophy and offerings. Every region requires a unique approach that should coincide with your business’s existing model. Companies should focus on determining which market is most relevant to their brand rather than which one is “big.”
- Pick the right team
Every organization seeks to hire the most competent individuals but when it comes to global expansion, pick employees who have experience in this domain. Nowadays, employers mostly prefer individuals who possess online MBA no GMAT required credentials. And that’s primarily because such individuals are experts in dealing with various business functions given the knowledge and skillset that online education instills. They are well-versed in devising strategies for international business markets, making them a top pick for recruiters.
- Invest in a global-first mindset
Promoting a global-first mindset and building a multi-cultured team puts you right in the middle of a successful global strategy. Instead of going back and forth by implementing strategies that work in your country of origin, focus on the entire international landscape. However, it’s equally imperative to pay close attention to the target region’s culture, norms, and traditions. For this purpose, it’s viable for your small business venture to devise an international strategy that aligns with your business vision while adhering to each region’s market needs.
- Try to be an insider
Adapting to language preferences and unique cultural values in different markets have always proven to be successful. Take Netflix, for instance; the streaming platform giant nearly doubled its business after it moved its platform across various countries. How? The streaming platform understood how to benefit from the consumer’s sentiments related to language, relevant content, and regard for cultural appropriation. Therefore, it is crucial to understand your target audience and invest in absorbing the local culture and hiring local people on the ground for valuable input.
- Understand the local business culture
Avoid taking the “one-size-fits-all” approach unless you are going for the same market. Not just culture and language but going global requires learning how the target country works. What’s the common consensus about the product you are selling? What are the consumer expectations regarding customer service, or what is the business infrastructure in your target country? These are some primary essential questions that you need to ask yourself before going global.
- Sort out legal compliance issues and taxes
International growth is all about strategic and innovative planning. You need to commit yourself to the target market or country. Familiarize your business model with their culture and thoroughly research their legal and regulatory compliances. It’s vital to put all the extra energy and time into understanding the target country’s tax laws related to business, trading, etc. As a small business owner, it’s indispensable to evaluate the legal structure of the target region to avoid any mishaps in the future.
- Team up with local partners
Local partnering is one of the most strategic methods of ensuring a successful international business expansion. Local businesses have good networks, understand the culture, and are familiar with the market’s buying habits. You should avoid coming into competition with local businesses. Instead, build cooperative relationships with them and use their local knowledge for better transitioning.
- Choose a suitable business model
Experts say that for a smooth transition to the international market, it’s best to start planning way before you even think of implementing it. Every venture requires a cohesive business strategy and model that addresses global expansion’s core issues and challenges. You can choose from various models, including transnational strategy, international strategy, and multi-domestic strategy. You can go for either one or develop a unique business model that addresses each strategy’s primary points.
- Reinvest in the market and business
If you’re striving to achieve successful global expansion, utilize the revenues from day one instead of waiting for them to pile up. That’s right, you must think of your international profits as opportunities to reinvest in the business and to further fuel the finance of multiple global markets. Adopt proactive planning to develop strategies to fund additional expansions with the help of your current ones.
Prepare a solid marketing plan
The international market is a whole different game to get business opportunity, so you must enter it with a solid marketing plan. When you have all the pieces of your business growth strategy together, you must let your consumer know that you are growing overseas. Target your target audience’s values, sentiments, and mindset and launch a marketing strategy that can resonate equally with the global village. Implement different marketing strategies and tools for different audiences and continue innovating.
Globalization is a phenomenon that is every business’s end goal. International expansion is often every company’s go-to strategy when they have unlimited domestic success. Globalization has made it easy to attain better profit margins, but it can also prove detrimental for many small businesses. Global expansion is a process that requires meticulous and detailed planning down to the last dime.
Strategic planning is required to implement a global structure that will allow you to access new markets. It is vital to assess the market, understand your target audience, give importance to their culture, and collaborate with local partners to increase international efficiency and performance.