Five Ways to Ensure a Successful International Debut
Vigilant and meticulous planning, optimised resource allocation, and realistic expectation-setting can help maximize your chance
Fast-growing access to the Internet has opened up a plethora of international market opportunities for business ventures of all sizes. Technology is enabling Indian companies to think big, expand internationally, and compete with global enterprises on their turfs.
Many businesses, however, fail to crack this space as they end up treating different geographies as standardised markets, overlooking their vastly different social, economic, and political realities. They set unrealistic expectations, hampering their transition into a renowned international company.
International business expansion is a learning process that demands flexibility, adaptability, and agility. New experiences and developments need to be taken in the stride, with speed and confidence, to achieve success on any scale. Here are five key strategies that can help businesses looking to make their mark on a global stage to successfully expand internationally.
Acquiring Market Knowledge
To succeed in a new geography, businesses must conduct due diligence to develop market insights. After all, a one-size-fits-all model doesn't work out well for an aspiring global company. Understanding the nuances of the local language, customer requirements and preferences, cultural differences, regulatory frameworks, and industry operations can help you devise the best strategy for long-term business success, growth, and scale in a new market.
Mapping Market Size, Product Segmentation and Opportunity Analysis
Once you have acquired the knowledge about the chosen market, the next step is to select the best approach to successfully crack it. Determining the market size, mapping its future growth potential, and analysing the competition should be the top priorities, as these insights can help you gauge how much time and resources you need to invest to drive optimum value.
It is also important to identify and segregate existing market challenges on a granular level, and how they can be turned into opportunities. Such in-depth analysis allows you to develop highly-customised products/services to reach out to each target consumer demographic, thus maximising your revenue opportunities.
Prospective Regulatory and Legal Impact on the Business
Depending on your industry, you might have to face unique regulatory and legal challenges when expanding into another country. All these cannot be ignored, for your business will have to operate within the regulatory and legal framework of the target market. You will have to address aspects like labour and employment laws, investment and business procedures, corporate organization practices, dispute resolution, trademark requirements, customs laws, and regulatory requirements and much more.
While meeting all these criteria before officially launching your business in a new country can be a complex process, there are plenty of resources available to help you understand these nuances and get started. It is always advisable to seek experienced legal guidance for foreign business practices to identify threats and risks that may act as a barrier to your business.
Identifying the Right Partners
When planning to enter a new country, you may need to create a separate team to manage the regional operations in terms of distribution, logistics, dispute resolution, governance, taxation, and finances. Doing so at competitive speed and scale will need you to rely on local businesses with expertise in these critical functions.
You may also need to explore local alliances and partnerships by joining forces with other companies, of similar size and market presence, located in the territory you are entering. Such partnerships will enable you to test the waters while minimising your risk exposure, as well as to gain access to local expertise, business networks, and established supply chains, making it one of the most effective ways to grow your business in newer markets.
Build a Robust Go-to-market (GTM) Strategy
A go-to-market strategy is created to focus specifically on delivering a product or service to the end-customer. To create a winning GTM strategy, you must first define the target market, followed by secondary research on the market size, its growth potential, and internal dynamics.
Once the target market has been outlined, you must analyse potential customers and their various requirements to identify how your organisation can best serve them. A strong positioning strategy can accordingly be devised to highlight your business's USP and to build its brand salience among your target audiences.
There is no doubt that expanding internationally involves many intricacies and risks. But vigilant and meticulous planning, optimised resource allocation, and realistic expectation-setting can help maximize your chances of setting up a successful global business.