It’s not easy to get a business off the ground, let alone bring it to thriving and on the brink of expansion. These days, expansion often involves globalization: expanding your business to the international market. While this step may seem daunting, it’s often necessary for continued growth and prosperity. In fact, 80% of business executives agree that businesses need to expand internationally for continued growth. Expanding into the global market will not only help you scale up, but can also provide additional markets in case others should stagnate.
Don’t Leap Before You Look
Just because globalization is a smart move for businesses who are ready to grow quickly, it’s important to wait until your company is ready to make the move. You and your team need to have the skills and confidence to pull off a successful international launch. Don’t just move forward with globalization for money’s sake—your team will suffer if you try to attempt an international expansion before you’re ready. Calculate the risks and rewards and have a plan in place should it all go wrong. You don’t want to hinge your company’s entire future on expanding to international markets. At a minimum, you’ll need to be able to finance the expansion, hire staff, and ensure your core culture and values can be moved internationally.
Consider What You’re Offering—and How You Offer It
Not all products and services have universal global appeal. It’s very important to consider whether your service or product will be well-received in the markets you’re considering. Understanding the cultural views and tastes of your international clients is important, especially when it comes to communication. Your marketing strategy should cater to the preferences of each market for best results.
Test it Out
Once you’ve done the necessary research and determined that expanding is a good next step, you’ll want to make a very small test operation to make sure that expanding into the market is a viable option. Once this test is complete, you’ll expand the operation a bit more, creating essentially a small business offshoot of your main operation. This will help you determine the success of the expansion, and you’ll want to set a firm date for reevaluation to consider withdrawing from the market, or continuing the expansion. Whether the test was a success depends on your expectations, as well as the nature of your business.
The Digital Demands of Globalization
Becoming an international business means using technology for even more than you do in domestic operations. You’ll need to use technology to lead from afar, and putting together a plan to accomplish this effectively will make the transition go more smoothly.
Data security is also an immense consideration in globalization, since data breaches show no signs of decreasing in the near future. In fact, 78% of US. CEOs are worried about data breaches, due to the typical cost of an IT incident and the impact a breach can have on a company’s reputation. Ongoing training is an important factor in preventing breaches, since many incidents are linked to human error. Aside from setting up a solid cybersecurity system that utilizes encryption, you should very clearly create policies for issues such as how the organization should respond to a breach and how mobile devices should be used and managed to prevent unauthorized access to data and trade secrets.
A Digital Department
If you’re considering expansion, but you don’t have a digital department yet, it may be an option worth looking into. A digital team works to provide the company and customers with a better experience through digital solutions. There are many ways to organize a company when it comes to digital strategy, but many models of innovation. A hybrid model of organizing digital goals is the most productive model, as it allows for all departments to be connected to a central digital departments, but allows for innovation within other areas of the company. Hybrid models are difficult to set up and maintain, but can be very successful in companies that practice organizational leadership. If you are interested in expanding your market internationally, a digital team will be a necessary part of your company’s growth.