In the increasingly global landscape, globalization has become a goal for many businesses large and small. Free trade agreements, along with technology advancements have encouraged the globalization of companies. Trade is much easier and quicker than it used to be, but that does not eliminate the challenge that globalization presents to businesses. Small businesses that cannot afford to hire a foreign marketing agency sometimes struggle with the globalization and exporting process, luckily it can be done through careful planning and utilization of free and readily available resources.
The globalization of your business is certainly not going to happen overnight. There are many small steps that need to be taken that will eventually lead to a larger, more profitable and diverse client base. Many companies begin by doing some exports while remaining a primarily domestic company. Others focus on a few countries or one region rather than attempting to go completely global. Not only is it difficult for smaller companies to reach a global scale, the products or services that they offer might pertain to a more focused group of countries.
When selecting what countries to launch your business in, there are several things to consider. Use resources such as our Market Potential Index and other governmental and international sites such as the World Bank to get a feel of how certain markets are doing and which hold the most potential for your business.
Once you have established what countries you would like to target, you can begin to develop and implement a marketing strategy. Online marketing can be one of the most helpful tools. With the explosion of social media, and the increase in internet access worldwide, online marketing is one of the most cost effective ways of getting the word out. Be sure to do a little research on internet use in your target markets to see where the online traffic is in that particular country. It is also essential to have a quality, easy to use website as a reference for your customers, and of course to use for a little shameless self-promotion.
Lastly, Understanding the culture and customs is essential to compete abroad as well. Using free tools like our Culture Resources and Language Guides will help you to get a base understanding of a country’s culture. Don’t let other cultures intimidate you, embrace them and figure out how to market within them. There are some marketing techniques that are accepted worldwide, but be sure to know which are the most effective in your target area.
Globalizing your company can be done, and with a little research and utilization of free tools, marketing and competing abroad can be done!