The advent of the internet turned the world into one global village. Geographical, geopolitical, and cultural differences are no longer considered major impediments to international trade.
With an e-commerce website and a sizable clientele, companies can easily open up overseas branches and tap into the global market.
So far, it seems as though breaking into the international corporate scene isn’t so difficult. But then, why aren’t many companies achieving global success?
That is the million-dollar question. And in this blog post, we shall share some of the tried-and-tested tips to achieve international business success. Implement these tips to achieve international business success at home and abroad.
1. Research on the business environment
The success of any business relies heavily on research. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the first tip for breaking into overseas markets is to research widely.
Much of the research should be centred around the viability of your products in your target destination. As you conduct your research, you should particularly focus on the brands that are successful in your target marketplace.
Take some time to understand why they are successful, and come back home with some invaluable lessons. In the same breath, study the brands that have failed in the same marketplace, focusing on the core reasons behind their failure.
Did those brands fail due to poor marketing strategies, stiff competition, or an unfavourable retail environment? These are some of the questions you’ll need to settle.
Lastly, acquaint yourself with the legal environment in your destination of choice. Some countries are known to adopt insanely ridiculous measures in a bid to safeguard local businesses. In such countries, regulations are a bit biased against multinational companies operating within their jurisdictions.
2. Research on the cultural environment
After you are done conducting your research on the nature of the business environment in your target investment destination, you should now proceed to understand the cultural environment.
Different countries have different customs and traditions. In fact, you are likely to encounter diverse cultural practices in one country.
You can start easily by learning the local languages. And the good news is, you don’t necessarily need to take classes in foreign languages. There are plenty of apps to help with that. Most importantly, you are only interested in learning a few words like greetings and other general pleasantries.
After learning the local language, go on to find out about the region’s culinary practices. Certain countries have well-defined dietary restrictions. For instance, if you are in the restaurant business, it will interest you to know that cows are considered sacred in India.
So, if you are considering setting up a restaurant in India, you may want to keep away from beef and consider other dishes instead.
Similarly, pork is unwelcome in regions that profess Islam, such as the Middle East and North Africa. Even if you are not in the food and beverage industry, just taking your time to study the culinary practices of a foreign country will give you a clue about its culture.
3. Seek to establish trust first
Admittedly, your primary reason for wanting to expand to an international market is to increase your revenue. However, never let the profit motive shape how you approach overseas clients.
Whatever you do, don’t make it too obvious that you are only in it for the money, much as that is a pure truth. While seeking to break into a global market, your main focus should be to establish trust with your prospects first. And there are several ways to go about that.
First, focus on value as opposed to affordability. If you enter a new marketplace and discover that products by local companies aren’t doing well, don’t assume that it is got to do with inhibitive pricing. So, when pitching your products to new prospects, focus on utility, not affordability.
Secondly, insist on using trusted payment services. International clients are quite fussy when it comes to choosing their ideal payment channels.
Therefore, the payment method that your company adopts must be convenient in the country and region you are planning to expand your operations. For instance, if you are trying to expand your operations from Japan to other countries, you must adopt a payment method that allows your clients to safely send money to Japan.
4. Understand international time zones
Time differences are a major concern for businesses operating internationally. Though it may not appear like much, ignoring time gaps can cost you a lucrative deal.
Therefore, it is paramount that you remain ever cognizant of the differences. And that is especially true if you are interacting with a client through a virtual medium.
When it comes to time zones, the convention is to use your client’s local time as a basis for all references. For instance, when having a Skype call with a client based out of a different time zone, greet them depending on their local time.
Harmonizing time zone differences may also need you to adjust your hours of operation. Remember that clients who are contacting your company from a different time zone are also entitled to a quick response. So, if you can, make provisions for round-the-clock support services.
5. Spread brand awareness for international business
Finding a viable international market is only half the work. To seize control of the market, you’ll need to put measures in place to spread awareness of your brand continually.
One of the best ways to popularize your company in a foreign market is to hire social media influencers.
In this digital age, millions of consumers are actively shopping for products and services online. You can easily tap into this vast online marketplace to raise awareness of your brand.
When hiring an influencer, the convention is to consider someone who is based in the region where you are promoting your brand.
That way, you can take advantage of their wealth of knowledge on the local market dynamics, which include consumer behaviours and corporate best practices.
In addition to social media influencers, you can also hire SEO specialists. Professional SEO companies may set you back a few dollars, but they are worth the risk. Lastly, you might consider giveaways in exchange for referrals.
Achieving international business success is not a walk in the park. But it is not as difficult as many brands tend to believe either.
The tips we’ve highlighted in this post can give you a head start when seeking to break onto the global corporate scene and achieve international business success. Above all, remember that entering international markets requires patience and diligence.
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Emma Gill is a passionate writer and guest blogger. Writing helps her to improve her knowledge, skills, and understanding of the specific industry. She loves writing and sharing her knowledge mostly in the health industry. She believes health is the real wealth & wants to spread her belief across the world. Apart from writing, she loves traveling and cooking.