Modern business owners have a unique opportunity to operate beyond local markets. Using the right methods, you can take your business global within a few months.
The most important thing is to be confident and know what you’re doing. Once you’ve done your diligence, try one of the steps outlined below to achieve international success:
- Leverage the power of digital marketing
As a business owner, you should already have a website and active social media accounts so that people can find you online. It’s important to work out a budget that allows you to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ads to reach your target audience. The best way to leverage these channels and take your business global is through search engine optimization or SEO for short. Don’t have SEO skills? Look for a local SEO agency to help you out.
With the right SEO strategy, you can tailor your website content to a specific demographic. This makes it easy to reach people in certain locations and markets.
All you have to do is include relevant keywords and phrases in your blog articles, website pages, and social media posts. Before you put money into digital marketing, figure out how you plan to measure success. It usually takes about 3 to 6 months before you build an audience and credibility that’s needed.
- Use agents and distributors:
This is one of the best ways to establish a foothold in international territory. Find a distributor in your niche market and make sure they have specialist knowledge of your industry’s distribution chain.
The only downside to this model is that you must be willing to part with some of your profit margins to pay the agent or distributor. You should also be careful of the agent you choose and make sure their experience is relevant to your niche.
The key is to find someone that has an established relationship with your targeted customer demographic.
The great thing about exporting is that it’s a well-established industry. You sell goods and services directly to your customers overseas and it could work really well if your home country is already a major exporter.
Plus, it’s simple, low-risk and you get to keep most of the profits earned. If you don’t feel like dealing with export tariffs, quotas, labels, and quality regulations, skip to the next section.
- Open a physical location:
Opening a physical location will help you avoid tariffs, quotas and other forms of protectionism. You get to operate first hand with the market and deal directly with customers and suppliers.
However, this strategy is not without risk. It takes a lot of time, energy and resources to manage a physical location. Plus, you have to educate yourself on local regulations.
- Joint venture/ partnership:
This is by far the riskiest method you can apply to take your business global. That’s because it involves working with a partner that you may not be familiar with or even buying an existing business.
But, with great risk comes great reward. If you can identify a lucrative business to buy into, this strategy could transform your operations.
If you want to expand into other markets, you must be clear about the countries you wish to expand to. Understand the language, culture, local market, and regulations. It might help if you have existing relationships in those markets, such as friends, family members or even Facebook connections.
After you’ve done your initial research, use one of the tips offered above to connect with the audience you want to attract in your preferred location.