3 tips for international business expansion post-pandemic
As we emerge into this new, post-lockdown, post-brexit world, many businesses feel it's time to take the next big growth step - international expansion. Huge opportunities await across borders, but no doubt everyone's aware that new market entry is a time and labour-intensive process, and can be very costly if not successful.
Here are 3 tips to ensure successful market entry:
1. Do your research
To know which market to pick to ensure the entry is successful, you must gather and interpret key data relevant to your business. Analyse the political factors, infrastructure, micro and macro economic data, market size and segmentation, consumer data and buyer behaviour, distribution trends, industry growth indicators, sales data, localisation requirements, trends and forecasts, as well as the critical competitive insight and much more.
Take a look at your existing approach together with the competition to identify a key gap for you to enter.
2. Don't rush - plan instead
Rushing market introduction and failing to plan alongside people who know the country will rarely, if ever, produce the desired result. No two markets are the same, and now that the research is gathered you need to put it into context and use it to create an action plan - your go-to-market strategy.
Being laser-focused and creating your landing point is critical - make sure to identify your target market and target customer, outline routes, channels and partners to best reach them, develop a pricing strategy to fit the market and define your value proposition.
3. Test the Waters
Much of the advice already out there suggests before you start you'll need a team of lawyers and accountants first, perhaps even a director and maybe some office space too - all before any sales are made in a new market. This is not the time for lawyers or accountants, but commercially driven leadership.
It is critical to prove there’s a demand for your offer in these new markets first. Ensure that you put the ‘horse before the cart’ - engage with target customers, evaluate your pricing elasticity and your value proposition to ensure all resonate, creating swift revenues and building a robust sales pipeline to grow from and substantiate further investment.
Exporting products or services cross-border offers mammoth growth opportunities, and can be both simple and affordable - so long as you undertake your research, have a world-class go-to-market strategy and lead market entry with a commercial focus.
The proof is in the pudding - Bridgehead Agency achieved a pipeline of over £2m inside 6 months for a SaaS SME, secured sales with with key distributors and channel partners, with purchase orders value of £500,000 achieved in 90 days for a UK wearables brand, grown a Scale-up’s sales pipeline from £4m to £18m in 9 months and many more - all using these tips create and implement go-to-market strategies for their clients.
Don't make assumptions and do your prep - it works!