Sales Management

Moving to International: What Your Company Needs to Know About Overseas Business

Overseas markets have lots of opportunities even for successful companies. Some of the benefits include access to low-cost inputs, new customer base, diversification and greater brand visibility. It’s vital to take the global advantage, which can lead to an edge over the competitors. However, every company looking to expand into the international market needs a checklist. Here are some of the important things to consider.

1. The target

Any business needs to study the desired target market. The new market may be in a developed country, which will require a different approach than a market situated in an underdeveloped country. The business model should agree with the target market for expansion. For example, the objective of establishing an office in a developing or under-developed country may be to lower the cost of supply chain and employees.

2. Study the laws, regulations and cultural differences

There may be strict laws the company may have to face in the overseas location. The approval process may take a long time. Regulations and cultural differences should also be taken into consideration. For example, a business printed catalogs with an ‘OK’ finger sign on each page, later finding out that it’s considered as an obscene gesture in Latin America. As a result, they had to re-design the catalogs and lost six months of work in between.

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3. Check the infrastructure

If a company is going to sell a product or service which also has a demand from rural areas overseas, the infrastructure is going to come into play. Even though getting the items to consumers in the major city may be a simple process, rural areas and small towns have infrastructure problems, and some routes may not even be developed. Therefore, the time of delivery to areas near the target market may increase.

4. Costs

Doing business on an international scale has costs on all fronts. Companies have to take into account the costs of promotional material, telecommunication, digital services, product modifications etc. If the products and services need to be shipped on a large scale, comparing different logistics companies is a good option for the best possible quote. The reliability of different suppliers should be considered as well.

5. Competitors

Domestic success of a company doesn’t guarantee international success. An in-depth analysis of the competitors is required.  There may be many other companies that are already selling the same products or service in the overseas market, and the local companies in the target market can turn out to be strong competitors as well. Competition is one of the factors that need to be evaluated carefully for international success.

6. Strategy

Moving international requires a well thought-out strategy. ‘We’re going to be there and customers will come’ isn’t the appropriate direction to invest a very big investment of finance and resources. The strategy should be based on the objectives, revenue benchmarks, pricing, product names, product acceptability etc.

If the company executes international expansion properly, there are chances to increase the business by more than 60 percent in 3 to 4 years.

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