In today’s highly competitive world having a local business can be pretty unrewarding. It can be a constant struggle to keep your neck out of the water. Everybody knows that, but people are still afraid to take the risk and expand.
Let’s face it – if you want to develop a business that will be able to survive today you need to have a sense of adventure. That’s the core of every entrepreneurial spirit. And part of every adventure is discovering new lands (in our case, markets).
Go International With Your Startup
Most of the people will tell you to take it slowly. That first you need to embed your startup with American customers (which sometimes takes years) before you start branching out to Europe and eventually Asia. Don’t take their advice.
There was a time that would have been a logical thing to do, but not anymore. It is a fact that the whole world is soon to be one big market, and everybody is speaking the language of money. Which means that, if you know how to generate revenue with your home-based clientele you’ll know how to do it internationally.
That’s why it’s important for a young business to go international as soon as it can. Besides the fact that international trade undoubtedly increases sales and thus profits, you’ll acquire very rich cultural intel about your products and figure out what is most appealable in each market.
Not to mention that other way you’ll be neglecting two-thirds of your potential customers. So pack up your startup and hit the road.
Before the takeoff
Like with every long distance trip, this one also requires a bit of preparation. First of all, you’re not going alone, which means that the commitment must be company-wide.
Every employee needs to be a member of your international team. Don’t go without defining your international business plan first – you need to be aware of your goals and commitments and you won’t be able to measure your results without it.
The part of the planning is also the determination of your ‛pocket money’ – are you willing to invest as much as you can afford or you’ll set up some limit? Just be aware that going global is not a short trip and be prepared for a long haul.
Precisely for this reason you’re gonna need to do some research – the last thing you’d want is to reach your destination only to realize there are no customers for your products out there. So do your market research to find the targets with the greatest demand of what you have to sell and analyze the data in order to predict how much you’ll be able to sell over a period of time you planned.
Keep in mind that you can’t sell it all and pick certain products based on your research. And, in the end, prepare all the documentation. It’s good to hire a professional to take care of export licensing procedures, but don’t forget you’ll also need a couple of papers as an individual.
Traveling to a distant destination such as Australia without an Australian work visa safely secured in your pocket will get you just as far as watching kangaroos. So use this checklist to pack your bags and let’s see what benefits await you.
Every business is good as are the skills of its employees. These skills are built through life experience, and every country offers a different one. This means that going international will enable you to recruit new local talent with different skillsets which will provide your company with a fresh perspective and bring innovation into your work processes.
Nothing is original, everything is a recreation with modified ingredients. Which means there are a lot of similar startups to yours out there and this is your chance to explore them. Networking with people who have similar ideas will allow you to influence each other and evolve your businesses through mutual cooperation.
3. Eyes on you
Taking a risk in today’s passive world is enough to attract the attention of media, and media coverage is extremely important for young businesses.
Bloggers and journalist are constantly on a hunt for juicy stories and traveling to some far and exotic destination guarantees a fantastic story. While you’re penetrating the international market, back home you’ll receive some free PR.
Every time a couple is in crisis they go on a trip to try to sort things out, and this makes perfect sense.
A change of environment and the experience of new things makes us interact outside our comfort zone and strengthens our bonds. Traveling with your team will enable you to know them on a deeper level and build a solid foundation for future collaboration. In other words, it’s an ultimate team building.
5. Partner up
If you do your research right and end up in a strategically picked location there is no doubt you’ll end up with several partnership opportunities. If you play it right it might become a game-changing experience and help you establish an outsourced part of your company in the very beginning.
6. Broaden your view
One of the most important things for every business is an ability to change the perspective and look at things from another angle. This is not a frequent skill because it’s very easy to sink into a working routine. Visiting different countries and getting to know their cultures will broaden your view of things and enable you to see the bigger picture again.
7. Feedback and investment
As we said at the beginning, the whole world is becoming one big market, which means there are investment opportunities at every step. All you need to do is to expose yourself. The further you go, the bigger the feedback. You can always bring some global advisers back with you.
No matter what they say, online space is not the only business map out there. The real world still exists. And it’s time for you to start traveling. Good luck and bon voyage!