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Going international with your company is always a great business opportunity.
To avoid any mistake before even starting, we would recommend paying particular attention to some delicate initial steps.
It is crucial to avoid:
1. Not Having a Strategic Plan
As in any other field, improvising a business internationalization will not end up being a winning strategy.
It is essential to set specific goals and to envision a strategic planning as detailed as possible, which takes into consideration all of the possible scenarios. Evaluating risks and benefits is the only way to put in place a process in that can actually give tangible results.
2. Not Estimating a Proper Budget
Enthusiasm and motivation are vital elements, but a realistic evaluation of all of your resources (material, financial and human) is just as necessary to support, implement and manage such complex projects.
3. Not Doing Appropriate Market Research
Your products or services might be of the best possible quality, but it is pointless to only rely on that. A successful company internationalization depends on lots of other variables. Thus, some prior market research is vital, to say the least.
You may also enquire for a consultant’s support to help you analyze your countries of interest.
Investigate what your international customers’ needs are and be ready to adapt your product/service for your new buyers, if necessary.
Do not expect your potential clients to adjust to what you and your company have to offer: indeed, it will have to be exactly the opposite.
4. Not Understanding Who Your Local Distributors Are
Local distributors with whom you intend to collaborate are of primary importance.
Get to know them in person whenever the chance arises and analyze their business thoroughly as well. Including the other products they are selling: some of their brands might be your direct competitors.
Spend the necessary time evaluating this matter and make sure your contract includes a termination clause. Just in case things play out differently.
5. Not Deepening the Cultural Aspect
Running a business abroad will highly unlikely turn out to be same as your home country. Besides all the legal and fiscal aspects, take into consideration the cultural one as well.
People who will decide to buy or not from you will base their decision on how good (or bad) your first impression has been for them: from how appealing your initial communication is and how professionally you conduct a negotiation to how efficient your shipment and after-sale services are.
Should they find themselves in the position of having to choose between you and another brand, they will never buy from someone whose company’s did not serve them in the most effective way.
Make sure all of your employees and collaborators possesses the right communication skills, education, and cultural awareness to interact properly with your prospect or clients.
6. Not Considering Your Online Presence Localization
A mere translation of your website and social accounts into your target language will not be enough. Needless to say: avoid using machine translators.
That is not it though. It is necessary to localize your website content by utilizing that cultural awareness we have just mentioned.
Some methodology and processes might differ considerably in your target market. A popular payment method in your home country might not be so well-known abroad.
Negotiations and administrative requirements may follow different procedures.
Therefore, it is essential to rely on external and experienced staff who can deal with these issues.
These are some of the most common mistakes we recommend avoiding for a successful company internationalization.
Most importantly: enquiring industry experts is the most effective way to see tangible results over time.
As always, our firm is at your complete disposal, just get in touch.