While many firms can develop internationally, it is necessary to consider the elements that influence attempting to "go global" too soon.
The ideas and techniques that were tremendous at home may not fit clients in a new region or country. Therefore business owners must be completely prepared and ready to deal with any discrepancies head-on before going global.
How to Expand Your Company for International Customers?
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It might be challenging to break into a foreign market, especially one with strong norms and restrictions. Often, business owners want to expand internationally, but they don't know where to begin. Bubbles Translation Services is available to assist you. We've helped over 1,300 companies break into new markets over the last 12 years, and we've identified eight techniques for business owners to succeed.
The following are eight ways of establishing a foothold for international customers. Check out the list below to discover which one is best for your company; perhaps, after reading this, you'll know where to begin.
1. Consider Franchising Your Business
Franchising is at the top of the list. If you're unfamiliar with franchising, here's how it works:
- You establish a reputable brand (e.g. a restaurant)
- You invite restaurant franchisees to open their own locations of your restaurant.
- Franchisees pay you a fee and perhaps a percentage of profits each year, then keep the remainder.
The benefit of franchising is that it is one of the simplest ways to enter new international markets. Simply take your existing, profitable business model, identify a franchisee in your desired market, develop the franchise, and open your doors. The disadvantage of marketing for international customers is that it nearly always necessitates a compromise.
You can explore locations all you want, but if you don't have a strong brand in the country you're attempting to break into, you'll end up looking like every other business on the street. That isn't the end of the world; many small businesses thrive – but it's important to remember that franchising can only be used for certain types of businesses, and it comes with a significant amount of risk because you're entrusting your brand to someone else!
2. Exporting Directly
The most popular of the eight strategies for international customers on this list is direct exporting. It's really straightforward: you sell directly to the market you're attempting to break into. For example, if you want to sell to Japan, you get your goods into the right Japanese outlets and observe how it sells.
Your exporting buddies are your agents and distributors. These individuals serve as a link between you and the stores. It's a lost cause trying to acquire a presence in a major Japanese retailer as a foreigner. Still, it’s not impossible with the help of a trustworthy agent/distributor (and language services firm). It's actually relatively simple. The majority of the contacts you'll need to succeed are held by your agent/distributor.
Of course, you'll have to figure out shipping logistics and other details, but on the surface, straight exporting seems a lot like selling things in your own country.
3. Forming a Partnership
The term "partnering" is a bit of a misnomer. It could be anything - you might find a foreign partner to simply assist with international marketing (in exchange for a piece of the earnings), or you could find a foreign partner that is equally committed in all aspects of your business as you are.
We're major supporters of collaboration. Of course, you must thoroughly investigate your potential partners to ensure that you are doing business with someone who will genuinely assist you rather than hinder you. However, if you can find a good partner, you'll be able to grasp your new market for international customers a lot more quickly because he or she will know everything about it that you don't. A partnership is a near-essential in several parts of the world. For example, if you're a foreigner, you won't be able to break ground in many Asian countries - you'll need a partner in each country to help you navigate the legislation and such.
4. Joint Ventures
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A joint venture is a collaboration between two or more businesses or individuals. They get together and invest in a commercial venture - the money is usually always split 50/50, and profits are split equally.
Typically, the two companies keep their distance but collaborate on a single project to succeed.
5. Just Buying a Company
Buying a firm in another country is by far the most straightforward approach to join a new market.
- You instantly assert your market share.
- You already have a consumer base and a strong brand image.
- Even if the government imposes regulations on the industry for international customers, you can quickly get around them (and these rules and regulations will actually help you by keeping competition low)
- In most circumstances, governments will still treat you as a local firm regarding licensing and other matters.
Of course, there are downsides.
- You're no longer a single entity, and your international operations in that market will be distinct from the rest of your brand's image.
- It's prohibitively expensive, especially if the company you wish to buy is profitable.
- Due diligence on a foreign company, particularly one based in a less-known country, is significantly more complex than domestic.
6. Turnkey Products or Solutions
Do you like to construct things? Perhaps you work in construction or engineering. If you do, you might hunt for turnkey projects to bid on in other countries. A "turnkey product" is one you build from the ground up and then pass over to someone who only has to "turn the key" to get started. Because they nearly always come from governments, these are some of the best contracts to get. On the other hand, everyone knows that these are some of the best contracts to get, and you'll be vying for them for both domestic and international customers.
You must already be selling products to other domestic enterprises to piggyback. If those domestic firms have foreign operations, all you have to do is call them and ask the following questions:
“Hello, could you perhaps take my products to your overseas agencies as well?” Of course, you could say it a little more eloquently, but you get the idea. You're riding the coattails of an existing commercial partnership to break into international markets.
Licensing is similar to piggybacking in that instead of talking to domestic companies and requesting them to carry the product, you talk to international companies and ask them to temporarily own it.
For example, if you have a fantastic widget that you believe would go nicely with a company's inventory in your new market, all you have to do is ask.
Licensing is one of the simplest methods to get started, although it isn't always an "easy procedure" in general. You must first persuade the company that your product is appropriate for them. After that, you must convince them that it will sell. Then you'll have to work with governments and attorneys to iron out all of the legal details of the license's "sale." It's not the same as selling the rights to your product; you don't lose control of it. You're simply renting a foreign corporation the rights to your goods for a set period.
How to Prepare for International Customers
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Moving to target potential international clients in other countries costs time, effort, and money. Consider what your company will require to be ready for new clients before putting your plan into action. For instance (and this is by no means an entire list):
1. Local Currency and/or Language Invoices
Dealing with consumers from different nations might be difficult due to language limitations and other issues. Thankfully, as previously said, you can customize the language of your invoice with the correct invoicing software (all without knowing a word yourself).
Furthermore, you have the option of using the currency of the customer's nation. While this may not appear appealing, there are grounds for making a sale as simple and straightforward as possible for the customer, thereby encouraging repeat business and favorable word of mouth.
2. Give Specific Delivery Dates
If at all feasible, ensure them. Delivering goods to customers in other countries can quickly become complex and expensive. This may necessitate some preliminary study - are there shipping solutions that will work for your company? What are the costs involved? Customers demand rapid, on-time delivery in a world where Asos and Amazon can fulfill orders the same day they are placed. Even if you don't use expedited shipping, being able to specify a delivery date range is a surefire way to keep your international customers pleased. A delivery letter adds a touch of class to the package.
While difficulties may develop beyond your control, how you address them can be an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
3. Be Aware of Your Legal Responsibilities
Now comes the fun part. More than only longer and more complicated transportation arrangements are involved in selling and exporting items across borders. Before you begin your international marketing outreach, you must first understand what these sales imply to your firm in terms of tax, customs duty, and the potential consequences of Brexit if you're headquartered in the UK.
Speaking with your accountant or an import-export professional may give you important information and assist you in preparing for intracommunity and/or international sales.
4. Entice International Clients
Being prepared will help you better target, attract, and keep international customers. However, because it is so easy to reach new international clients online, this will likely be their first and only interaction with your company.
5. Make Changes to Your Website
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Are there any products that have a strong market abroad if you're targeting a new target group and have done your research? Is there a specific culture you want to appeal to? Which page of your website attracts the most visitors? These are all aspects of your company's internet presence that can be analyzed and improved to generate more international customers. Everything about your items, from the photographs and descriptions to the navigation and ease with which customers can contact you, should be researched and optimized for the foreign audience you're attempting to attract.
Creating a content strategy is an excellent place to start when trying to appeal to international audiences. Create Australia-specific material that can provide value and potentially attract customers if you run a blog and focus on marketing to customers in Australia.
6. Make a Digital Marketing Investment
We'd have to get to the stage where we'd have to part with some of your money sooner or later. Advertisements on the internet can be tailored to appeal to a certain target and appear to that demographic. The cost of paid marketing can range from shockingly reasonable to astronomically expensive, depending on your sector and target audience, so you'll need to do some research to figure out what's best for you.
However, updating your website and focusing on SEO can help you grow your organic traffic, albeit targeting specific areas without additional criteria is far more complex (such as a different language). Don't overlook social media when it comes to your internet presence. Although it may still appear to be a passing fad in marketing, social media has significantly impacted business performance. You might also discover a more profitable niche market and more cost-effective advertising solutions.
7. Put a Premium on International Customer Service
As previously said, a customer's experience will have a significant impact on whether or not they will return or refer your business to friends, family, or coworkers. Throughout the sales process, their relationship with you and your company is key to a positive experience. Being available and willing to respond to any questions, complaints, conflicts, or other messages that may arise and providing straightforward and courteous service can make or break a sale and future business.
Unless you are certain that you are only marketing to international customers in one time zone, this may require you to operate outside of typical business hours, so be prepared to respond to late-night emails if you want to provide excellent customer care to your new worldwide target audience.
The barriers that once prevented us from working with international clients have vanished. Doing business with someone on the other side of the planet is now easier than ever. In truth, working abroad is incredibly appealing and provides numerous benefits. Who wouldn't want to make more money for the same amount of labor if it meant working with foreign clients? However, the advantages are not without drawbacks: In-person encounters are few – and in most cases, non-existent – and obtaining money back from a client who refuses to pay you can be challenging. So go ahead and work with international customers because there are several opportunities. However, you should be informed of the advantages and disadvantages, so you know what you're getting yourself into.
Surprisingly, Strikingly also believes in business evolution. You may rely on such well-known sites to learn about the best business expansion strategies. Check out our platform's live chatbox and speak with one of our happiness officers. We will make sure that you study all of the cutting-edge international marketing strategies so that your company can begin expanding abroad.