Choosing to begin foreign exports is a no brainer for most companies. After all, why not to sit back and witness your business experience rocket growth rates at a global level whilst sales flourish in foreign markets. For smaller companies, embarking on the internationalisation adventure may prove to be more challenging than they may consider at the first thought of it. Is your business prepared to boost exports to new market destinations?
Before companies even think about establishing an international sales strategy, they have to critically evaluate whether they have the competencies to penetrate new foreign markets. State the obvious you’re thinking, but you’d be surprised to know that a lot of companies do not even consider if they are ready to internationalise. The benefits of foreign exports are compelling enough to persuade any business that unprecedented growth at a global level is just around the corner but international expansion isn’t for everybody. As a consequence, many companies enter foreign markets way in over their head so, forget the rest - think about what your business wants to gain from global exports. Internationalisation requires a lot of effort, commitment and time before companies can enjoy returns on investment.
Some key things to ask yourselves:
-What resources do you already have and what do you need to conquer foreign markets?
-Do you have enough cash and capital to support increased demand in markets overseas?
-How will you obtain your finances for internationalisation?
-Will you enter into an international joint venture?
-How are you planning to get your product to your overseas market destination? Which sales route is best for you?
-How will your product compete in a foreign market?
-And finally.. Do you have a plan to overcome language barriers? What material will you translate?
Deciding which foreign market to penetrate is a difficult task
Do your research before you decide which foreign markets you want to set your sights on. Don’t make the mistake of a ‘one size fits all’ attitude. Each market destination is distinct and approaches to the global export management have to be tailored in order to successfully conquer internationalisation.
It’s essential to understand how the foreign market operates before you embark on international expansion. In other words, assuming a foreign market possesses the same trends as your national one sets you up for failure. Choosing a country that is culturally similar to your own is a realistic goal. Therefore, it would be advisable for a US or a UK company to boost exports to Europe - a market destination that has rather similar business standards, than for example, Asia, whose business customs are very different.
Tackling language barriers is pretty simple. Don’t let it put you off!
Most companies only invest in translations if they think their investment will provide a generous return. Investing in translations during the internationalisation process turns your company’s contents into valuable assets. Multilingual communication is an essential part of international expansion and many businesses will decide to target market destinations that speak the same tongue as them, just to avoid extra translation costs. Oh how this a big mistake! Limiting your options ultimately narrows your international expansion opportunities. Consider every market destination around the world. Your product may fit the needs of international consumers better in France than in Canada, for example, but choosing Canada is an easy option for those who do not want to translate to French - a huge potential wasted to target French consumers, who fit the target market for your product perfectly.
Translation costs don’t have to be high! Once you’ve invested in the initial cost, you’ll have armed yourself with multilingual content that can be used to successfully launch into a new market. And it doesn’t stop there! Use these assets to keep targeting more foreign markets. Once you have invested in translation content for example from English to French, it would be cheaper to localise the content for Canadian French and set your sights on the Canadian market.
Remember, International expansion has no finish line. Keep going and enjoy the fruitful benefits of boosting your profile in as many foreign markets as possible! Are you up for the internationalisation challenge? Is your business ready to boost global exports?