As you prepare to expand your company to new shores, you’re bound to find countless sources of advice, all telling you the best possible tactics to make your business a success in a diverse or volatile economy. What usually gets swept under the carpet, however, is the common mistakes made by businesses of all sizes when trying to enter a complex foreign marketplace.
When planning your expansion, keep the following items in mind, so you don’t lose sight of your goals amidst the unimportant details.
1. Do you have a unique value proposition?
In every business you’re in a global economy, competing against the best of the best in the world. You have to know specifically what makes your products and services better, different, and unique to everything that’s out there, and be adept at communicating that.
The bottom line for all buyers is simple: what can your product or service do better than what’s already out there? Are you providing value above and beyond the norm? Why should anyone care about what you have to offer, and how can you prove—and validate—that what you have is truly different or better?
2. Is your audience properly targeted?
For your new products or services to gain traction in a competitive marketplace, you must have an audience that wants it, and can afford it. You need access to a large enough audience that will resonate with your products, pricing, and your particular service benefits. This doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just throw out an expensive product and expect people to flock to it just because you’ve created it.
Likewise, if your product or service enters an established marketplace at a high price point, without offering much above your competition, expect potential buyers to dismiss your company before your second round of marketing takes place.
3. Have you conducted pricing research?
Pricing of your products and services is not about what you want in your bottom line, but rather about what the market dictates, and establishing perceived value in the eyes of your buyers. You may think your product is indispensable, but if it’s too expensive or targeted to the wrong demographic, it will get lost in a sea of competitors.
4. Is social media getting too much of your attention?
Thanks to its ever-expanding bag of marketing tricks, social media has permeated the mind-sets of business owners, regardless of niche or vertical. It’s easy to become laser-focused on blogging, Tweeting, posting, and other social media endeavors, even when basic marketing research hasn’t been done first.
Don’t focus your time on social media or building an audience before you’ve determined your company’s role in your new market. Know what you want to provide or sell, and what steps you’ll take to accomplish that. Be clear about what separates your brand from others, and how to resonate with foreign buyers. Once these goals and audiences are established, then you can shift focus to the powerful social outlets.
Keep focussed and be prepared with technology
Technology plays a huge part in helping businesses stay on track, and avoid mistakes. It’s not always at the front-of-mind for all businesses looking to expand and export into new markets however technology can truly be your biggest support when looking beyond borders. The right business management system can speed up, simplify and boost the success of international trading, bridging language and multi-currency gaps from the start. If you are starting to think about entering new markets then a business management solution should form part of this plan.
There is lots of advice out there when you are planning on expanding and exporting into new markets. Learn from other business mistakes and keep sight of your goals. Remember, preparation is key as well as thinking about how your business can be functioning behind the scenes.