Tapping into a foreign market is a lucrative endeavour in today’s business climate, with many stories of large corporations striking gold. Take a look at Starbucks’s revival resulting from its enormously successful expansion in the Chinese market; CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, has laid out plans to establish 5,000 stores by 2024 in China.
There are numerous advantages in entering overseas markets, ranging from boosting brand exposure, product diversification, obtaining new market segments, to improving profit and sales growth. Deciding to enter a foreign market comes during prime time when technology has graced businesses with a global reach. With just about any information made available in the World Wide Web, it’s nearly impossible for you to not have a general understanding of market conditions in your country of choice.
larger companies have the advantage
It’s no secret that larger companies have the advantage when establishing an international presence. After all, they have better access to capital, brand establishment, and resources. However, smaller-scale companies can also have a share of the overseas market and succeed in their own respective rights. Before you herald in a new dawn for your business, there are some precautionary steps you can take so your business has a higher chance of succeeding overseas.
Understand the Law
Wanting to establish an overseas presence equates to entering the new legal territory. Starting a business, in general, is time-consuming and requires a stack of legal documents, but depending on the country, things may be more complex. This isn’t stressed enough, but you have to be familiar with national laws and regulations imposed in the designated country.
Issues such as taxation, employment, and investment influence the trajectory of any business. Therefore, it’s better to be well-informed of the possible restrictions or leeway that will have a direct impact on your business. Premature understanding of the legal system can cause a mess that you will certainly want to avoid in a country that you’re not too familiar with.
Familiarise Yourself with the Culture
Knowing the local culture and consumer habits will help you find out which countries are aligned to your business expansion goals. Although you may feel your products or services can be accepted by any consumer, often times that’s not the case. It is standard procedure for you to adjust your products, services, packaging, and marketing strategy upon entering a new market. The bottom line is that no two consumer markets are ever the same!
It is therefore crucial for you to decide whether your business has the capacity to adapt to the local market. Local adaptation isn’t the easiest step to take as many prominent brands still experience their own unfortunate blunders. Safe to say, if it’s too costly or difficult to adjust your products or services, then you may want to weigh out your options by selecting a different country.
Get a Head Start in the Competition
This line of approach is similar to how you would market yourself to consumers back home. The luxury of consumers knowing about your company’s line of business is non-existent in a foreign market, thus you have to begin building the foundations of your business overseas. Even the large F&B franchise, KFC, was once an unfamiliar name to a foreigner’s ear in the past.
Building a competitive marketing strategy is hence integral to whether you’ll rise above existing foreign competition. A great way to start is to create a website page using the designated country’s national language to build market exposure. Do make sure the translation services you turn to are sensitive to the actual target audience and any specific requirements you may have for them. Be tactical in your move by utilising SEO and copywriting that tackle the challenge of appealing to the masses as well as propping your website’s ranking in local searches.
Partner with a Local Business
There are as many concerns as there are expectations when you enter unknown territory, thus there is always an option to partner up with a local business. The ease of transitioning to a foreign market is made simpler as you have professional guidance with industry experience.
This move does come with its own set of caution since there’s always a risk of manipulation and fraud. You have to trust your judgment and perform your own background check of the individual to ensure a potential partner’s merit is credible.
chambers of commerce
While this depends on your own country, there are chambers of commerce or business councils that you can contact for further information. The biggest solution that chambers of commerce provide is their directory, which is excellent for leads. Depending on the chamber of commerce, they may extend assistance on legal advice, industry insight, and local promotions.
Chambers of commerce generally offer you the extra cushion that you may not necessarily have when you pursue the business journey alone. Searching for a chamber of commerce is quick since their information is readily accessible online, so be sure to set aside time to do the research.