Entering an international market is a great opportunity, but can be challenging and pose risks. It’s a delicate operation, but being aware of some of the most common mistakes can help you start on the right foot.
Let’s see a few mistakes to avoid.
1. Not having a plan
Improvising is not an option. You need to create a solid basis and lay the foundations of the project. Entering the international market without having a strategy and an effective planning can lead to enormous problems.
It is essential to carry out an initial analysis of different factors: from which markets to target, to what goals to set, from the preparation of a detailed action plan to the expected costs and return on investment (ROI).
2. Underestimate the organizational process
Having a team in place that coordinates the operations from the HQ is just as important as being able to count on a local team in the targeted country.
There is no need to save on the budget when it comes to finding the right people with the required skills, talent, and reliability. It takes time and energy to identify who can represent our company and our interests abroad.
3. Not investigating the local market
It is crucial to carry out some research to analyze what differentiates your product or service from your original market. It is an entirely new reality with different buyers and competitors.
Many companies just skip this step, and that is a major mistake. The same product will be offered in new foreign countries, to different types of customers, with different tastes, preferences, and habits.
Perhaps you will need to make some prior changes to the product or service you are planning to position and adapt it to the new market.
4. Addressing markets which are too broad
Specific nations should be considered. Deciding to expand into Asia or North America is just too generic. Each nation has its local legislation, cultural norms, currency, payment methods, and practices.
Being very specific will make it all much easier. It is vital to take account of trends and industry forecasts, competition, distribution channels, marketing, fiscal, legal, customs and- last but not least- cultural aspects.
5. Categorically decide to do everything by yourself
Who said that you need to prepare for a new market all by yourself? Working with a reliable local partner whose market awareness is proven, can save you a lot of time and money.
Sometimes, it may be helpful to acquire an established local business that will enable you to benefit from its existing reputation and customer base.
In other cases, you may need to open an office in the new market with a local team that understands the business practices and behaviors of local consumers.
6. Have no patience
It is wrong to expect a fast return on the investment. Looking at international markets is a great growth opportunity, but it is a long-term strategy.
Internationalising a business involves an adjustment phase. It takes time to build new business relationships and create a good presence and reputation. It is quite unlikely for these projects to happen quickly. It may take several years. Patience is essential if you are planning to benefit from long-term results and it is vital to budget enough money to fund the entire operation, including the possibility of facing unexpected costs.
A business internationalization process is a very important growth strategy in the current economic and financial system. An accurate preparation, a solid strategy and the ability to quickly adapt to changes are key to success
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Distance is not a problem. Online collaboration allows us to multiply the opportunities offered by the global market.
Current technology provides us with tons of tools to help us perform several tasks more effectively and allows collaborators, who may be tens of thousands of miles away, to work on the same project, give their contribution and exchange information while comfortably seating at their desk.
Most importantly, you do not have to be an expert on this subject: the most widespread software is, in most cases, also extremely intuitive.
The ongoing use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops has allowed us to be connected anytime, anywhere. Hence the need to constantly access our files, during working and non-working hours. This is now possible thanks to the cloud.
It is a virtual and personal storage space -protected by a password- where files are saved and synchronized on all of our devices. So we can simply access and edit any file from anywhere, whenever we wish. By logging into our cloud, we can view, edit and instantly share our documents with anyone, including -for instance- our CPA who might currently be located on another continent.
File-sharing also allows you to determine if the other part can edit, download or only view your documents.
Another important feature is backup. By saving our files in the cloud, we will have a very useful solution in case of “incidents.” If our PC suddenly dies out, we can always retrieve all of our files and folders from our cloud storage account.
The cloud is especially important when files are too large to be shared via email.
There are many VoIP tools, but Skype remains the most popular way to make free phone calls and video calls around the world.
It is an ideal tool to organize online conferences and meetings and maintain international business relationships. It allows sharing your screen and I.M. with your contacts. It can be used from your smartphone, your PC/laptop and even on a TV screen, once enabled.
The popular I.M. app, originally available for smartphones only, now can also be used on PC screens. It allows you to call, share text and vocal messages, pictures, etc. Definitely a very useful tool for short and frequent updates and catch-ups and a great way to stay in touch.
These are the main basic tools to set-up an effective business collaboration. Obviously, there are many other online tools out there, many of which are meant to manage particular tasks and activities based on specific areas of expertise. We strongly recommend taking all the opportunities offered by the World Wide Web. Online collaborating is possible and makes everything faster and easier.
Our firm is at your disposal to evaluate which could be the best procedures, channels, and tools for effective collaboration, get in touch.READ MORE
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