Businesses can be bigger and better than ever, even without significant investment these days. It used to be that, if you want to expand out of your starting market, you’d need to find a new location, set up, hire new staff, and manage all of the new overheads. Now, thanks primarily to the internet, you can expand into just about any region that you know how to access.
Gaining entry into new markets in foreign countries is the logical choice for any business that has exhausted its opportunities at home or has spotted a place for itself elsewhere. It’s not just the mega-corporations or colossal chain restaurants that can achieve this, either, as everyone has the tools at their disposal to offer, sell, and deliver goods from home to nearly anywhere in the world.
Before you embark on this potentially lucrative quest, there’s a fair bit of work to do. To help give you the best idea of whether or not you’re up to the task, here are some savvy essential steps to consider to expand your business overseas.
In modern business, the face of your business isn’t you as the owner, your CEO, or even a staff member who works directly with customers; for the most part, it’s your website. For starters, you need to ensure that you have a fully operational, easy-to-use website that’s been made by a professional. This will make sure that you make a good impression immediately. Online, if you don’t impress straight away, the customer will simply click away.
Just as importantly is localizing the content, specifically, making sure that the website reads well among your new audience. Simply trusting the automatic Google translate function on Chrome isn’t enough as, for the most part, it reads like an incoherent mess, with any and all turns of phrase or slang being ruined by the tool. Instead, you’ll need to hire a professional translator to ensure that your message gets across.
In this line of thinking, it’ll also be beneficial to your future prospects and customer interactions if you learn the language of the market that you hope to break into. For example, if you’re looking to open up to Germany, the largest importer and exporter of goods to the US, it’d be wise to take some online lessons with an expert tutor in order to communicate confidently. This will enable you to answer customer questions quickly with good grammar and professionalism as well as interact with other local businesses if needed, which could further save you money down the line.
What works as your main niche in your home market may not do so elsewhere, but you’re always free to expand your range or put the emphasis on one of your lesser performing products. Essentially, don’t think that exactly what worked at home will work overseas. Still, you need to follow the rules of having your niche: pick one that you can offer easily, excel in, and has fewer risks.
As such, you really need to get to know your target market. Your brand needs to connect with consumers on a personal level, filling a need that not only you recognize, but that they recognize as well. Sometimes, this’ll mean altering the package of your products but keeping the actual product as good as it’s always been. It’s key to ensure the changes and improvements to your offerings are communicated to your customers and to make sure that your messaging connects to the new market.
It’s a brave move to leap from your proven comfort zone and into a new market, but doing so is easier than ever these days. So, if you feel like you’ve hit the ceiling, use these savvy tips to explore new markets.