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6 International Expansion Strategies to Achieve Global Competitive Edge

  • Written by Eliza Jeffrey


Business growth has always been the number one priority of every business. Growing the business and expanding it from one city to a statewide local market and then globally is the dream of every entrepreneur. And suppose your corporation has succeeded in the local market. In that case, the global market can expose you to new customers, expansion possibilities, and new talent. International expansion is particularly beneficial if you aim to take advantage of new economies. But with global growth comes market unpredictability, unknown competition, and even unstable economic conditions. Many corporations leave the idea of global expansion due to these challenges. But some strategies can help you establish a firm ground in the international market.

INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION STRATEGIES

1. Find the right partner/affiliate

You can't establish a business in another country without local help. So it would help if you found the right affiliate for this job, someone you can trust and who will help establish your company. It will help set up an office and establish it in the local market with skilled people. Hire people who understand the local demands and market trends along with the state regulations. It will ensure that you are compatible with the new market and can handle the business effectively. Having a local partner will also help communicate and translate your unique corporative standpoint to the local market. So the team should always have the company's interests in mind and have in-depth knowledge of the local market.

2. Forecast market demand

Understanding the country's market demand can help you shape strategies to drive your corporation in the international market. So when defining, make sure that you include potential consumers on a broad term. That can help in reducing the risk of facing product rejection in a market. For example, to understand the USA's consumers' demands, you can participate in trade shows. If there’s a trade show in California, secure a trade show booth Los Angeles CA, to determine the service and product demand. You will also get the idea about the consumer demographics that will help in the marketing strategies.

3. Prepare the right infrastructure

Before you start expanding into the international market, always determine whether you have the right infrastructure. The infrastructure is responsible for the company's strong commencement and operations. The critical elements in the right infrastructure are:

  1. A local management team that can implement your business strategy in the new country

  2. Networking and IT setup

  3. Safe cloud storage so that all the local data is available to the central office at any time

  4. A setup to follow local market regulations

Once you have made the decisions and completed the setup for these critical features, you can make a safe launch.

4. Think proactively

You cannot directly launch your product without altering it according to local needs and demands. This strategy works in the local market where you know the risks, trends, and consumer psychology. If you gain a deep understanding of the market, you can wait for the consumers to catch up. But when it comes to international expansion, these reactive methods don't promise many positive changes. Your wait and watch strategy can hurl your corporation into multiple crises and risks. Instead of these impulsive risks, plan a long-term strategy that can serve the present market. Then try to understand the dynamics of the market you are serving and alter products accordingly. The goal is to secure the investments you have made in the market instead of sabotaging them.

5. Consider financial impacts on the existing business

If your international expansion strategy is successful, you will find your business growing in the local and international markets. But there are risks to the corporation if things go south. So before you plunge head deep into the new market, consider the financial risks to the business you have to maintain.

So you must evaluate:

  • Available funding: There are fewer chances that your business will start generating profit in a short time. So you will need to maintain the new expansion with equity funding or consider debt financing. First, analyze if your business can bear the burden of using the equity funding or the debt without spiraling. Consider the costs of your growth and your plans of financing the international business in the long-term.

  • Reputational effect of a failure: If there is any downfall in the economy that causes your company to face repercussions, it can affect the entire corporation. But more than that is the effect of reputational damage. Reputation means everything when you are a multinational business chain. Any negative impact on the reputation can damage your services and products' market demand and goodwill.

6. Innovate

There is no point in entering a new market if you are not willing to innovate your business strategies and products and services. So when innovating, keep the market trends in mind to devise a relevant plan. Doing so can give you an edge over your local competition. But when you are innovating business strategies, products, or services, make sure you keep the local laws in mind. The local labor laws and product/service regulations are the key factors that can either make your innovation a trend or reject it altogether. These laws and regulations also provide important insight into the market's needs, which you can use to develop new products.

These strategies play an essential role in making a solid base in the international market. But the issue of competition remains. There will be many small-medium enterprises that have a strong market hold. Gaining a competitive edge is hence, necessary to establish your demand in the market. Some key factors you can gain a competitive advantage over are:

  1. Competitive edge due to economic strategy: The international market is a lucrative option to secure more customers. But most importantly, you can have a profound impact on the sales strategies of the local market. Tech and innovation can help you achieve profitable results in the market and attract more customers, giving you a competitive edge.

  2. Competitive edge due to products and services: You cannot substantially impact the international market if you don't innovate and develop new strategies. So differentiation in services and products is necessary. If you manage to innovate and provide something unique to the market, you can maintain a long-term competitive edge.

  3. Competitive edge due to business positioning: When you start operating your business internationally, change and innovation will become the driving factors. That is why enterprises investing in global expansion have to invest more in research and development. By developing a unique selling proposition, companies can capture and penetrate the market.

Conclusion

The opportunities to expand in the international market doesn’t end here. And when stepping into emerging economies, there are no limits to innovation and growth. There are many challenges that your company will face during international expansion. However, if you establish strong alliances and merge with affiliates, you will capture the market instantly. The critical factor in global development is to bring about innovation and change in the market, and hence, the economy. A crucial element to be mindful of is thinking globally but operating locally, meaning your products should cater to local demand. Only by understanding the region's needs will you gain acceptance and recognition.

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