Business owners are navigating uncharted waters at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that growth and expansion plans should be put on ice. There are opportunities to tap into emerging trends and to capitalise on the growing demand for certain types of products and services. It’s also crucial for businesses to be able to adapt and adjust to life in the COVID-19 era. If you have ambitions to take your venture from a small, local business to an international enterprise, here are some tips to take on board.
Research the market
If you run a local business, there’s a good chance that you know everything there is to know about the local market and your target customers. Expanding any kind of company will involve reaching out to new clients and trying to make waves in new markets. Before you take the plunge and branch out, conduct extensive research. If you plan to sell to international customers online, or you’re hoping to launch a new store in a different country or diversify a product range, such as tours or excursions, to cover new destinations, get to know the places on your list. See what your competitors are doing, analyse sales data and communicate with people who buy the products you’re selling in different locations. You can use the findings of your research to influence marketing campaigns, to help you come up with a suitable pricing strategy and to learn how to communicate with your ideal buyer most effectively. Crucially, carrying out research can also help you gauge the level of demand for your products and services in different regions or countries.
Figure out your finances
Growth of any kind requires financial investment. Before you launch plans to open new branches, set up offices overseas or sell to international clients and customers, make sure you have the financial means to do so. Figure out how much it’s going to cost to turn your plans into reality, and work out how you’re going to fund those steps if you don’t currently have access to capital. Cost out every element of the strategy. Once you’ve got a sound business plan, turn your attention to managing your money. How are you going to organise your finances when taking orders from overseas or opening new stores or offices? Thanks to the Internet and banks offering global services, it’s easier than ever before to transfer funds from one account to another, to send money from India to Australia or to offer customers a choice of payment options, which works in most countries. Consider your options and have a look at what other global sites and brands are doing.
Adjust your marketing strategy
There is no universal blueprint for global international success, and one of the key tasks for business owners is to target customers in different locations. Cultural differences, consumer trends, incomes, employment figures, economics and politics and buying habits can all play a role in determining how people shop, the types of products they want to buy and how much they want to spend. Your marketing campaigns should be tailored to your ideal buyer in each location you’re covering. What works in one country might get lost in translation somewhere else. Use your research to craft targeted campaigns that are relevant, engaging and sensitive to cultural differences and traditions. If you’re selling in countries where the language is different, it’s worth working with a professional marketing agency to ensure that you connect with customers using the right language and tone.
Spread the word
If you’re setting up a business in a new location, you want people to know all about your plans and to get excited about what you can offer them. Spread the word, create a buzz and build hype. If you’re planning a store opening, for example, use the Internet to provide information about dates and times, share posts to show customers what you’re selling, and offer incentives to encourage shoppers to make purchases. Events should be promoted in advance, and it’s a great idea to curate a guest list that will have an impact on sales. For a fashion store, for example, you could invite buyers, shoppers, bloggers, influencers, magazine journalists and local celebrities. You can also share the event with people at home using live streams and social media posts.
Going global is a bold move, but it could pay off. If you have ambitions to expand your business and start selling to international customers or open outlets, stores or offices in different locations, planning ahead is vital. Conduct thorough research, get to know local markets, and check out your competitors. Figure out your finances, adjust your product ranges and marketing strategies to tailor them to your ideal buyer and start spreading the word. Good luck!