Do you own a small business? Would you like to take your business beyond the borders of your country? If you answered yes to those questions, read on because in this article, we are going to explore how you can expand your business and target a global audience.
If you are all ready to embark into the international business market, and looking for the best global marketing strategy that can work anywhere in the world, then you should align all of your business’ long-term objectives in the form of strategic planning.
Strategic planning is something you should be doing anyway as a matter of routine, as it allows a business to meet it’s goals and targets by using resources effectively, set priorities and adjust its direction according to its environment and objectives. Here, we look at how you can plan strategically to succeed in the competitive global business market.
Understand whether there is a need for your products/services in the international market
Before you do anything related to embarking into the international market, it is essential that you understand the demand for your products and services in the global market, and whether there is one in the first place. The last thing you want to do is blow a considerable proportion of your annual budget on expanding if there is no market for expansion. Do not assume that just because your products and services are selling well in your current environment or market, it will automatically translate and give your business an international acceptance. For example, a store selling bikinis and sun wear probably would not do too well if they opened a branch in Eastern Europe. It also does not mean that you have failed if your business does not take off in a new territory; it is just that the product or the service that you are offering is not needed.
To grow your business internationally, your products and services will need to meet the demands of the intended market, but you do not need to do anything that your financial circumstances cannot cope with. If the market demands that you modify your products or services in a way that no longer meets the objective of your business, move on and look at alternative markets.
Understand consumer behaviour
Once you know whether there is a market for your business in a new region, you need to carry out further research into the consumer habits of the new area. For example, Chinese consumers prefer to shop local to their home, so Walmart failed when they opened stores close to industrial areas. You may find that some prefer to buy online and have products delivered, explore options such as sending a parcel to Poland.
Create a plan and stick to it – but be flexible
To deal with different markets in different countries, you need to spend some time developing a plan which is different from the one you use in your local business market. Remember that every country – and in some countries such as the US, every state – has its regulations and rules in every area such as economic, legal and political, so it is essential that you devise your plans based on the specific requirements of the region.
Don’t just penetrate, establish
You also need to make sure that your plan looks at not only penetrating the market but establishing yourself as a market leader within that new area. Once you have got your foot into it, you can’t rest on your laurels and hope that it establishes itself. You need to be continually evaluating your marketing strategy, updating your website with fresh content and working on not only attracting new custom but retaining loyal custom as well.
No matter how good the quality of your products and services are and how good your marketing strategy is, if it does not suit the style and behaviour of the intended customers, then it will make no sense to your business.
We all know that setting up a company is hard and growing your business, particularly on a global scale is even harder. You need to do a lot of things to do well, including having a great product and team for your business in the international market as well as making sure it is relevant to your new customer base.
Whatever the field you are in and the size of your company, a well thought out strategic plan can provide you with the perfect direction to help you to make decisions, keeping you on course to achieve your long-term objectives and ensuring that your business always operates in a way that is consistent with what it set out do originally.