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Global expansionl is a bold step; it requires a broad vision and the courage to enter unfamiliar territory. Before making the decision to go global, however, there are some important things you need to consider about this transition.
1. Will your products or services be popular in other global regions?
There are plenty of products that are needed by consumers worldwide. Think about the kind of problem or challenge your product or service offering addresses. If it isn’t one that people from other countries would need, you may want to reconsider your strategy.
2. Which particular countries will need your company offerings the most?
This step simply requires research. Look at companies like yours in foreign markets; how successful have they been? Are they having trouble keeping up with demand? Are consumers satisfied with them? Remember, just because there are no companies offering what you provide, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for it.
3. How well do you understand your global market’s culture and traditions?
Understanding the culture and mannerisms of the countries you are expanding into will help you tremendously with taking your business global. For example, in certain parts of the world like Israel and the Middle East, many people do not consume pork products because of religious beliefs.
4. What are the rules on exporting to the countries you want to expand to?
Look up regulations pertaining to imports in the country that you are thinking about establishing a presence in. Make sure you understand them and are capable of abiding by them before you decide to compete in that market. Think about things like labeling constraints, contract requirements, partner agreements, and so on.
5. Will you need to establish a physical presence there?
Many companies decide to set up a sales and distribution office in the country they are expanding into, especially when starting up. Consider whether or not this might be necessary for your global expansion based on the costs vs. the benefits.
6. How will you market your offerings?
Marketing is important anywhere, but it can be very different depending on the country. Consider how the most successful companies have marketed to consumers in the country you are looking to expand into, and consider following their approach.
7. Who will handle your global growth efforts?
Is there someone you can depend on to handle your international development? Think about who at your organization might be most able to accept this task, as it could likely involve an increase in travel and interaction with a new culture.
8. How much will it cost to globalize?
Think about travel costs, marketing expenses, tariffs, and other financial obligations that will come with globalization. These need to be accounted for in your budget if you want to succeed in your efforts to go global.
9. How long will it take to become profitable?
Will taking your business global allow you to net a return on investment very quickly, or will there be some ramp-up time before you can attain success? This is an important question for managing your budgets and overhead.
10. How will you globalize your business materials?
Everything from datasheets, legal agreements, instruction manuals to customer support, and online materials will need to be adapted to a new culture. You must have a plan in place that can help you manage this transition if you want to do it as successfully as possible.
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