U.S. corporations are on a race to the top of trending Asian markets. When you outgrow your domestic capacity, the possibility to enter an international expansion plan is tempting. But before you start developing a global expansion project, you must consider all factors involved.
Some factors are within your control, others aren’t. You must understand the obstacles and realistic opportunities for global expansion.
Overview of Your International Expansion Strategy
- Comprehensive investments – For a global expansion strategy to see results, you cannot hold back financial inputs, or material and human investments. The time to cut costs is not when you’re planning to launch an international initiative. Your company needs to be prepared for a period of uncertainty, with an ample budget to allocate.
- Industry research – Is your industry in a healthy climate to grow internationally? Factors such as major technological advances in manufacturing or resource management may predict whether your international outreach program will deliver results. Researching industry trends in competing markets helps set clear indicators on how your competition is succeeding (or failing) in the area you’d like to test.
- Test one market at a time – One mistake many companies make is trying to expand into multiple countries at the same time. Instead, you should choose one country or region to focus your efforts, run a campaign that helps you learn about global expansion, then decide whether it is worth the additional investment to move to the next opportunity.
- Redefining marketing strategies – Your global expansion project is a startup. You must treat is as such, preparing for losses and noticing when early indicators of your international strategy show it is either underdeveloped or not targeted correctly. Knowing when to pivot, and when to retract your efforts will guide you through the process.
- Pricing Structures – Foreign economies behave differently, so you must be sensitive to pricing decisions. You will want to consider political factors, the GDP, lifestyle and material culture, population size and growth rates, and access to telecommunications. These are all clear indicators whether your product is accessible to a mass or niche market, and how the socioeconomics will affect buying behavior.
- Grab your “low hanging fruit” – Some products and markets will inherently have better success rates than others. Rather than launching a new product in an unfamiliar market, test your existing products in areas where a demand is already present (or inadequately filled). Some products which are waning in your current market may fit a region that is less advanced.
Every expansion project needs clear goals and metrics to define success points. As a project manager you must understand how global market expansion will translate to overall company growth.
You’ll also have to figure out the logistics of moving your products in a foreign market. If you outsource your manufacturing to another company, such as China or India, the methods to export may be simplified. It can be cheaper to expand into a country where your product is currently being produced, as opposed to exporting to another foreign market.
If you have any questions about global expansion concepts, or how Baysource Global can help your company expand your global footprint, please contact us today!