One of the best ways to grow your start-up is through international expansion.
Overseas markets create additional demand for your products or services, thus increasing your revenue stream. But the timing of your entry into foreign markets matters. Enter new markets at the right time and your new business will see explosive growth. Get your timing wrong and your business may fail.
Here are a few crucial questions to mull over before deciding to take your business global.
Are Your Products Ready for the Global Market?
It’s one thing for your products to be a hit locally and an entirely different thing for them to be demanded abroad.
Study the new markets you intend to tap into to see if they’re a match for the products or services you’re offering.
What Challenges are You Likely to Face?
Identifying the challenges of international business allows you to prepare early. Examples of challenges you might come across include the inability to access regulatory approvals, localising products to suit the new target market, and gaining an advantage over your competitors.
The biggest issue most businesses face when looking to expand is money. Most companies find out, albeit too late, that they can’t afford the costs of international expansion. In this case, you have to first figure out how you’ll pay your staff, produce products or services to satisfy demand, and how to handle marketing.
How Critical is it to Expand Internationally?
A company may be eager to expand but might not yet be quite ready to do so yet. Why because while you may be well capable of spurring with competitor businesses in your own country, you may not yet be ready to go head-on with the international bigwigs.
It’s not so much about financial strength as it is about how well you can blend in and serve an entirely new market. You have an upper hand when you have built a good network internationally and you have something valuable and unique to offer.
Can You Balance Between Value and Growth?
At the onset of expansion, most companies find that they have to sacrifice their short term growth to build long-term value. Is it wise to go international now or could it be better to wait until later on when your company is far more developed?
No two companies are the same, while one company appears ready to expand into different countries in its first year of businesses, other companies take a lot longer. In the long run, it all narrows down to balancing your odds, identifying your competitors, and expanding your networks.
Proper Timing is Essential for a Successful Global Expansion
Expanding into overseas markets is a big decision. Start-ups looking to take the plunge should assess and understand the business and regulatory environments of prospective markets before setting up branches in those markets. As for the timing of entry into new markets, there’s no such thing as the right timing for all start-ups. Each start-up’s situation is unique and this should be taken into account when considering new opportunities for global expansion.