Running a business locally is challenging enough, but going global can be daunting. You need to consider several factors while selecting and entering new markets. At the same time, you should be ready to face roadblocks because the global landscape is more unpredictable than you imagine. The constantly evolving situations make it hard to align your business with them.
The only way to survive and thrive is with strategic planning covering business-specific considerations and macroeconomic forecasts. Moreover, your planning should be detailed and dynamic. But first-timers in international trade can find the domain overwhelming, so planning for success is easier said than done. Let us share the ultimate checklist for business growth global entrepreneurs can rely on.
Narrow down your potential markets
Growing globally is not about picking random markets for expanding your business. It requires a structured approach where you need to shortlist the potential markets that meet your decision-making criteria. For example, you can check factors like consumer preferences, the intensity of competition, size and growth potential, availability of relevant talent, cultural and language barriers, political risk, and compliance and tax environment. These factors can help you decide whether the market is worth exploring or you should skip the idea of exploring it. Narrowing down markets enables you to focus your resources and efforts on the right ones.
Have a clear global strategy
While the global opportunities are vast, leaders may feel overwhelmed by the sheer array of possibilities. Building the right strategy becomes challenging because you may not get a grip on your priorities. The best solution is to identify and quantify the market opportunity, gather the intelligence, and analyze it to gain valuable insights. You can use these insights to create a clear global strategy for your business. It should define ways to grow your consumer base within the new markets and maximize ROI with globalization.
Address risks before they come
You can expect many new risk exposures when expanding internationally. These are related to local compliance issues, data security, intellectual property (IP) protection, bribery, fraud, customs duties, and taxes. Knowing the risks and planning to address them even before they come keeps your business on the safe side. The right intelligence and advice can help you prevent the risks from materializing and disrupting your growth. The solutions are simpler than you think. For example, you can collaborate with a cybersecurity specialist to take care of data privacy concerns. Likewise, a customs brokerage partner can sort any issues related to custom compliances. Remember to onboard a local legal specialist to ensure safety from litigation risks.
Pick your finance options wisely
Global expansion to new territories requires a hefty investment. You must assess the current financial position of your business to decide whether a growth initiative is a viable decision. It enables you to determine the apt time for expansion so that you can reduce the chances of failure. You must analyze the costs of your project and decide how you will finance it if internal resources fall short. Businesses lacking financial firepower may have to deal with growth constraints. So ensure to have practical finance options at hand. These include export loans, private equity, and subsidies. You can pick the right one, depending on your growth plans.
Identify future operational considerations
Getting your business up and running is only a start, and it does not guarantee international growth. You must ensure operational continuity for the long haul to sustain the growth and survive in the global business domain. Managing operations remotely will not be easy, even once they are up and running. You may face countless challenges as you scale your venture down the line. Even the best communication and collaboration tools may fall short of expectations at times. You may require additional technology investments to run operations in your new markets as efficiently as possible. Start by assessing how existing internal resources can handle the key processes such as payroll administration, compliance, and management. Consider outsourcing for managing the future operational needs of your growing business.
Driving international business growth requires more than good luck. You must have an in-depth understanding of foreign markets to pick the right ones. It is equally crucial to know the risks and stay a step ahead of them with strategic planning. Although there is no proven formula to succeed in the landscape, you can pick bits and pieces and put them together to achieve your growth goals. Follow this checklist because it covers the most valuable pieces of advice for aspiring global entrepreneurs.