Expanding Internationally? Be Wary of These Mistakes


Every business wants to grow by entering more marketplaces and getting its brand recognized globally. The very fact that you’re thinking of expanding in the middle of a global health crisis goes to show that your business has promise. While you’re planning your elaborate international launch, you’ll inevitably come across the many risks and possible pitfalls you could fall victim to. And despite mistakes being inevitable, especially when you’re catering to a global audience, there are a few that you can take measures to prevent. After all, isn’t prevention so much easier and less costly than blunders?

If you’re sorting your priorities in fail-proofing this endeavor, here are three blunders that you’ll want to put on top of your watch list.

Expanding with the Wrong Agenda

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is to assume you’re ready for the international marketplace when you’re not. There are many reasons why a lot of entrepreneurs come to this erroneous conclusion. Some believe that their growth rate calls for risks that extend past their locality. Others think that it’s the only way to increase their revenues. Still, there are idealistic business owners who are motivated by trends. Just because other brands are going global and succeeding doesn’t mean that you should, too. Before you kick-off your plans to launch yourself internationally, you have to consider many considerations first.

The most important of them all is your company’s structural and financial capability. They could suffice to give you a solid footing in the global scene, but will they be able to drive your growth? It’s also high time to do an extensive assessment of your management team and whether they’re truly qualified to meet the unique challenges, they’ll meet in new markets. Diving into this endeavor ill-prepared will show you just how much your current enterprising knowledge falls short in the face of global standards.

Expanding with the Wrong Team

employees in the office

It’s not only your marketing team that should be experienced in international markets. Your entire team must be prepared for this huge leap. The last thing you want is to pay for employees who are just occupying space in the office without bringing true value to your brand. If you’re unsure how to assess an employees’ value, then now is the time to address this glaring issue in your structure. A growing business must enable its staff to grow with it. When your promotion and advancement structure is anything but clear and effective, you’re inviting salary disputes in your path.

Invest in talents that can materialize your vision. This could mean reshuffling and hiring new people who are more capable of leading or producing results. Having the right talent onboard makes it easier to address your immediate concerns, such as repackaging your products and services to cater to certain countries and demographics. Think about the existing gaps you’ll need to fill in, like a social media marketing specialist with experience in global marketing and an international taxation compliance attorney that will steer you clear of violation fines. Your needs will depend on the current status of your business. Regardless, you’ll want to make sure that everybody involved brings value and shares your vision to expand globally.

Expanding with an Inflexible Expansion Formula

You need to accept as early as now that you won’t hit all your target countries. At least, not at first and with the timeline you made for your business. For many brands, it takes experience to learn the ropes in certain countries, not just research. Each market is continually shifting, especially now that the pandemic has created an air of uncertainty in most economies.

In doing your market research, focus on knowing about the current demands and players in your industry. Who’s dominating? What marketing strategies are gaining popularity in that local market? With the vast difference in each country’s cultural norm, you need to develop a variety of strategies that will help you appeal to their consumers.

It also helps to cultivate realistic expectations. When you think your brand and products can’t adapt to a specific market, the reason could be that it’s not the right time, or it’s not the right place altogether. It might be a blow to the gut, but having this mature perspective on international expansion will save you from many wasted costs and efforts.

Brace Yourself

With the way technology has bridged the gap between nations and cultures, international expansion has become a compelling option for many businesses. The trick is to know when you should pursue it and which slice of the global market suits you best. Going into this, possessing the right mindset, strategy, and people will introduce you to countless opportunities that can secure the future of your business.

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