Each and every business has the opportunity to expand abroad. Simply put, this means opening new markets and finding new potential clientele outside the current territory.
When expanding abroad, below are some key tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t jump to the unknown; go to a country where you know some people like existing clients who made the step ahead of you, relatives and friends living there or simply a country you know very well through your previous job or even childhood.
- Use social media platforms to target the new audience: Facebook campaigns targeting the new segments, Linkedin connections who might be your guides there, etc.
- Get referrals from your existing network: visit your family, friends and clients and tell them about your next move. Ask them for potential contacts who might be interested in your scope of work or who have some good PR over there. They might surprise you with some interesting connections of high caliber.
- Choose a country where language is not a boundary. Don’t take the hard way…
- Make sure your marketing material is well adapted through design and language to speak the new audience’s taste and preferences.
- Research the country you are planning to visit. Google is a good friend when you need it.
- Try to connect with the chamber of commerce, the embassies, and other networking platforms that could be of good support such as the Linkedin groups, the syndicates, the social communities, international NGOs, etc.
- Consider e-commerce before going physically there. Make sure your website is well adapted to the new audience and that it enables online communication and e-purchasing with online payments and immediate chatting for support.
- Visit exhibitions in your industry and get to know the market very well.
- Do your business plan and make enough research to ensure all the needed connections and information are available there such as lawyers, auditors, tax structures, rules and regulations, etc. Never forget to budget your expansion plan.
- Make alliances with other parties who could complement you.
- Take the opinion of experts; you surely need to take the risk but it would be better if they help you calculate it accurately.
Dream, plan, expand and enjoy the process. Markets are tough but so are we!
Jade W. Dagher
Business & Wealth Strategist
Certified Management Consultant ©