Guest Post by Lilly Miller
Not every successful business strives towards expanding to a foreign market — maintaining a dominant position in a domestic market is not easy but it's less difficult because you’ve picked up some tips and tricks along the way. However, those who dare to dream bigger often find themselves drawn to foreign markets and new prospects because going global is the ultimate goal for many business owners.
This is why every undertaking towards a foreign market needs to be cautiously taken and skillfully managed to avoid the domino effect and ruining your other projects. With that in mind, here is a short guide to help you prepare for expanding your business to foreign markets successfully.
Although courage is a praise-worthy characteristic in an entrepreneur, when aiming at something significant, such as to push through a foreign market, it needs to go hand in hand with proper preparation: that is, research. Diving into such a venture headfirst is tantamount to self-destruction in the business sense because you cannot follow your gut when you don’t know the market.
If you wish to prepare thoroughly, you need to learn about the current state on that market regarding competition so that you know what you are up against. Since it would be best to learn from other people’s mistakes instead of your own, you may also look into some ideas and practices that have been unsuccessful for them in the past, so you know that they don’t work for that market. The end goal is to gain a competitive advantage over business rivals.
In the early stages of your research, you may discover that your target market has some legal requirements that you haven’t counted on. You set your eyes on an exotic market that looks promising, such as Indonesia, for instance, and although you know that such an endeavor can be lucrative, you soon learn that a foreigner cannot personally own land there.
Although your entrepreneurial spirit will quickly scan the options on how to acquire land and property in this new market, you need to double-check every action taken to ensure that you won’t experience legal issues or lose your investment to fraudulent individuals. This is why investment companies, such as Invest Islands, are your best choice, because they have extensive knowledge on the local market (in this case, Indonesia), ownership structure, as well as rights and obligations that apply to you as a foreign investor. This will help you find the optimal solution and gain peace of mind.
Your strategies, head, and heart might be there, but is your budget ready? The last thing you want to do is start a venture in a foreign market and along the way realize that you don’t have the necessary funds. Such negligence may not only result in the loss of the budget you invested in the new undertaking but it might also shake things up at home because news about your unwise business decisions can travel quickly.
If you assess that your current budget might not cover everything, it is best to obtain the necessary means in advance than to risk failure because of an untimely reaction. Although many entrepreneurs go straight to the traditional source, that is, banks, if you do some research into companies that offer business loans, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by their versatility: some don’t ask for a collateral, some take but a few minutes to apply for, while some boast high maximum loan amounts.
A German company would, for instance, find the Asian market to be worlds apart from their own. Depending on your domestic market and how far you wish to venture, you might experience the same but even if the market in question is to a certain degree similar to your domestic, you might still need to change some things.
The trick is in knowing how to adapt your message so that it hits close to home even on foreign soil and to be able to do that, you need to get to know your new target audience. Even if it is a neighboring country and the language might be similar, some changes would be necessary to make the message and your brand more appealing. These changes encompass both the content and the visuals which need to be adapted based on the preferences of your audience. In that way, you stand a greater chance of success in that market.
If done strategically and cautiously, expanding your business to foreign markets can bring a lot of interesting prospects, business contacts, and substantial revenue. Modern technology and the internet have allowed us insight into other markets and financial possibilities, and it is up to us to find the best manner to use those pieces of information.
Naturally, not all businesses should opt for going global, especially if they are not ready to take such a step but for those who have such aspirations, it is of the utmost importance to prepare well before taking that leap. They need to research the new market in detail as well as their local laws and regulations while obtaining the necessary budget should also be a priority. Now that you’ve informed yourself, it is time to act!
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. She loves everything about home decor, art history, and baking. Miller shares a home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.