Change can be scary, but it’s necessary in order to achieve business growth. Before expanding to overseas territories, it might be a good idea to check out some of the following considerations.
1. Are you a force to be reckoned with?
Your product must be of sound quality to meet the high standards of your potential global consumers. This quality check should be carried through each and every transaction to help you gain global trust.
You want people to associate your business with reliability, quality and assurance which will turn brand awareness into brand loyalty and brand insistence. One way to achieve this would be through thorough and rigorous product testing to perfect your manufacturing and operating capabilities at home before you expand.
2. Are you ready to adapt or die?
The global market is a new territory with its own set of challenges that require strategies and plans that are proactive instead of reactive. Despite all your plans, things may happen unexpectedly so you have to be ready to amend your plan to suit the turmoil at that particular time. Always keep up to date with trends and cultures of the specific country so you can predict them in advance and prepare for challenges as much as you can.
3. Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?
In order to create effective growth strategies, you need to understand the culture of your target market. A good place to start would be to study the labour practices of the country and maybe learn a common spoken language. This’ll enable you to liaise with prospective employees and promote your product in a way that customers can relate to and understand.
This requires getting out of your comfort zone and dispelling any pre-conceived notions you may have developed about the country and its people. If you refuse to do so, it can stunt the growth of your business and bring you a step closer to failure.
It’s also important to conduct research on the laws of a country to avoid criminal sanctions. It might also be a good idea to make new friends with locals who can educate you on how things are done from their perspective.
Part of your research also includes getting to know your competitors. Take their products for a test drive and use your research to develop ways to differentiate your product. Of course, introducing a new product is a greater risk but one that can come with great reward based on your marketing strategy.
4. Do you have functional systems in place?
It’s one thing to have a plan but its execution is a completely different game. What systems and channels do you have in place to achieve your goals? It’s advisable to find a good supplier who can provide good quality inventory. What’s even more important is acquainting yourself with import and export laws to ensure that you’re executing your strategy in a lawful and efficient manner. You can also leverage the expertise of PEO companies like BradfordJacobs or NN Road who have a tremendous amount of connections and knowledge of company setup in Germany. They can take care of hiring staff for your company, taking care of tax, paying employees in Germany much more.
The secret is to be patient and not rush the process. Take time to really acquaint yourself with the inner workings of your industry and your prospective suppliers. If finding a supplier is proving to be a difficult task you can contact an embassy that can provide a comprehensive list of manufacturers for your product. Alternatively, try and network more often through the local chamber of commerce so you can build a robust network that’ll link you to with the right people.
Quick Note! When deciding on a distribution channel, consider your options critically. You can utilize a certified agent’s services, create partnerships and set up joint ventures or go on a solo mission to open your own foreign company. There’s no right answer here but rather a correct option for each individual company.
5. Have you considered both the private and public sector?
Often times when business owners are faced with the conundrum of financing, they look to private investors to bail them out or accumulate debt by approaching banks. What most people don’t know is that the government can also be a source of investment.
Government financing is becoming increasingly popular with business owners who want to acquire foreign investment. This financing typically comes with other incentives such as lower interest rates and taxes, and it’s an opportunity to contribute to the societal development of the country while pursuing profit.