Is Going International The Best Idea For Your Business?

Growth needs to be a priority for anyone running a business. If you don’t have plans for growth as part of your agenda, you could miss opportunities that are snapped up by hungrier competitors – competitors who will soon be in a position to out-compete you. Even if you don’t see the need to significantly grow your business in the short or medium term, it’s all too often true that in the business world you need to run just to stay still. Keeping pace means finding ways to top up your revenue stream as existing customers move on.

One tempting idea for many business owners is to take their business international: if you’ve made a success at home, then it should be easy to repeat that success abroad. This is, unfortunately not always the case, and you need to think carefully before you overcommit resources to selling in new, international markets. Today we’re looking at some of the pitfalls that could be in store.

Competition 

It’s all too easy to look at the challenges of getting your business established in a new market, and ignore that one of those challenges are existing companies. Even if there’s a strong market for your products in this new country, if that demand is already being met by a homegrown industry, you’re offering nothing new. If you strike the wrong note with your marketing, you could find that an outside business is met with suspicion and distrust rather than welcomed as novel and exciting.

Marketing That Works 

Marketing can be one of the biggest challenges you face as you attempt to launch in new territories. It’s tempting to simply translate your existing adverts for a new market, but you need to be sure they will appeal equally. If the markers of success are different for the people in the country you’re selling to, if value, families or even a simple greeting look different and are interpreted differently, then a mere literal translation could turn out marketing materials that at best confuse or at worst antagonise your new customers!

Fees, Taxes and Duties 

Importing physical products or operating financial instruments in a new territory means a potential minefield of mistakes – mistakes with serious consequences. At the low end of the scale, you may find you have accidentally made your customers liable for customs fees, while at the more serious end, you could find yourself facing fines or even court action!

It’s well worth commissioning some thorough international research to make sure you understand the market you’re stepping into and will face the challenges successfully.

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