If you have decided that it’s best for your company to enter global markets, then, if you haven’t already, your first step is to begin mapping out a global business plan.
When you think about writing your international plan, you must keep in mind that the goals and objectives of your overseas operations must align with your overall company mission. And while you will be targeting either consumers or businesses globally, you must consider global pricing, currency differences and international market legalities per country, as these components will impact your overall company bottom line.
Once you have considered the above, next you must determine what the organizational structure will be. Will you send a few people or a team from the U.S.? And how many local staff members will you need to help you get into the local communities, and/or the local, regional businesses that you need to target or partner with? A member of your executive team should also be very knowledgeable in international markets, or you should consider hiring a consulting team to help you map out your strategies and make connections overseas. An in-depth study of the markets you consider doing business in is crucial. You will have to outline your company’s potential to be successful, identify competitors and the need for your product or service in a particular country.
Your business plan will also have to outline how you will conduct business overseas. If you have a company that offers products to consumers, will you manufacture them globally?
Once you have outlined your business strategy, objectives and the operation components of the business, you will also have to create a strong marketing plan that supports your business goals. This will outline market size, product positioning, competition’s success or failure, geographic potential and research on the target market. This will have to be outlined for each country you plan to enter. This plan must also include how you plan to target each international market.
When considering target markets, be sure that you understand each region’s biggest assets as well as struggles, as this will impact how you address these local audiences.
Your global business plan should also include the complexities that will exist in each country. Many global countries do business on a very different level than the U.S. It will be imperative to understand the cultural differences of each country so that you can best implement plans to work within those cultural boundaries. Your company’s strategies for growth will not be able to function without this element.
Make sure to include the timelines for entering each country. If your company does not have international expertise in opening up global offices for example, it’s best to start with one country at a time to learn the complexities of ‘going global’ – and use those learnings to your advantage.
In the end, take your time and give yourself credit for the planning and preparation you will do before attempting to enter any global market. The benefits from the learning experience alone will do wonders for your overall company goals. And when you do finally experience success in one market, you will use those learnings to enter the next market, and be on your way for challenging accomplishments and successes, worldwide.
And most of all, congratulate yourself and your team for a job well done!