When running a small and medium-sized business, also known as an SME, the opportunities for growth and expansion are almost limitless, especially in the times of technological growth and rapid globalisation.
A carefully planned approach to development can bring some astonishing results in the long term. In fact, due to technological advances such as fast internet available even in the poorer areas of the world, it is now easier for a business to expand its markets internationally and reach foreign consumers than it ever was before.
As you can imagine, in today’s globalised world, the rewards for a successful international expansion can be truly great for any business. Before this happens however, it is important to remember that it is absolutely vital to create a detailed plan which can help you and your business in understanding your potential markets, customers and competition. Although this can indeed cost a lot of time, money and resources, it simply isn’t the place to cut corners. Indeed, even world’s largest companies and organisations can get it wrong. A great example of this can be IKEA, who entered the Japanese market unprepared and failed miserably. Quite truthfully, a detailed plan of expansion and an in-depth understanding of the potential markets can often mean the difference between a great success and a miserable failure.
Translation Services for your business
According to this study, majority of customers prefer to purchase goods online on a website which offers information in their native language. This certainly isn’t any different when it comes to services or goods sold in a physical location. Any business owner simply must appreciate the importance of translation services and the positive impact this can have on their company or organisation. Translating your business’s legal/HR documents, website, leaflets or any other marketing material can in fact have a great positive effect on the way your company is perceived by your foreign customers. A professionally conducted and certified translation will certainly benefit your business on its expansion journey.
Get to know your market
Without fully understanding what you’re really getting yourself into, you shouldn’t even think of an international expansion. Doing your homework and gaining knowledge about such aspects as your potential competitors, market saturation, prices or even legal matters and legislations is vital as without this information your business is pretty much fighting a losing battle. Imagine a situation when your product or service enters a new, foreign market only to find that it is already saturated with the product, full of competition and in the middle of a price war – not the ideal scenario.
Understand your customer
Yet another aspect which is key to understand for businesses expanding abroad is the game’s main player – the customer. The customer can be identified and recognised through a number of different characteristics including geographical, demographical, psychographic and behavioural values. A great place to start is conducting a PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technical standpoints) analysis which will help you in understanding who your target customers really are. This will consequently allow you to recognise what drives their consumer behaviour, what could possibly appeal to them and persuade them to become your customer.
As you can see, although easier than ever before, international expansion is still a very difficult task which not only takes a lot of research but also time and money. In the end however, the saying that it is better to be ‘safe than sorry’ applies here perfectly. Although the short them expenses can put off a number of business owners, the ones who decide to plan ahead and conduct the process in a professional manner without cutting any corners are more likely to see long-term benefits to their business and company image.
Get in touch
If you’re in the process of expanding your business internationally or wish to find out more information about how we can help you throughout the process, get in touch with us today!