We all have a dream. It could be big or small or fun or serious, we all have a dream. Perhaps it is to become a number one best-selling author. It could be to start a charity. Perhaps you always wanted to find a way to document the beautiful planet we live in. All of these are legitimate ambitions.
If you own a business, though, then it is likely that your dream is world domination; it is to take what you started and make it international.
Well, if that is the case then keep reading because we have come spoken to a few seasoned entrepreneurs that have garnered more air miles than a Virgin pilot and compiled a list of their top tips.
It’s All About The Market & Friends
When people first launch a business they tend to launch locally, which makes sense because, well, they know the market. When you expand abroad you need to get to know these new markets just as well. If you don’t you’ll fall flat on your face. It is things like cultural differences, language barriers, compliance laws, all those little things that we can sometimes ignore. As such, we suggest you spend as much time on the ground in these new places as possible. Get to know the place, build relationships early on, and get help navigating the marketplace.
The Age Of Disruptive Technology
If you are not broadening your horizons to disrupt their markets then, quite frankly, what is the point in expanding at all. We live in an age of disruptive tech; Airbnb, Uber, Lending Club, all of these came with the intention of shaking up the marketplace. So use the approach that got you your success at home and takes that with you when you are considering what business setup in wherever you are setting up is going to work best. Just be willing to tweak it a bit, and be prepared to be flexible. If it worked back home then it is likely to work abroad.
It Is Time To Listen
Now is not the time to talk, that time will come; now is the time to listen. It is going to be your best means of learning and learning a lot. Listen to everyone you can; prospective clients, business partners, employees, bank managers, everyone and anyone. These people are better placed than you to provide good information, so embrace that fact and take note of what they are saying about these new markets. Every nation on earth is different, but by listening you will give yourself a far better chance of succeeding because you will be able to understand what tweaks to make, what employee incentives to give, how to package your product, what web design will work. All of this can be better approached through listening.
Go Small To Win Big
This was the most common area of agreement among the seasoned entrepreneurs we spoke to; all of them stated the need to be realistic with timeframes and grow at a steady pace. So start small, offer a great product, and then learn how to improve your operations through customer feedback, user experience, and data. By doing this, not only will you understand what works in a specific market, but you will have a better understanding of how to launch in neighboring markets too. That’s how to become an international success.