When you get the opportunity to expand internationally it comes with its benefits but it also comes with a lot of unknowns. There are a lot of peaks and troughs but it is important to understand the risks of international expansion. There are many hurdles in the way of your success such as political stability, cultural differences and poverty. When a business opens in a new country and makes mistakes they are going to have issues ahead if not corrected. In this article, we will go through some of the international mistakes to avoid so you can be successful.
Failing to adapt your sales and marketing strategies
Each country has its own culture and consumer habits that will be different from the country that you are based in and used to. This is why it is essential to come up with a strategy and an approach to tackle these differences and break through barriers. If you do not understand the cultural differences you could be marketing to the wrong audiences, losing profits and wasting content on dead ears. By analysing and adapting, you will then be able to understand and adapt how to sell and market to the locals. Understanding culture it’s far more important than businesses may think, it can significantly boost progress or absolutely cripple a business if they don’t do their research.
Not listening to the local squad
Customer insights are one of the most important things that you need before expanding internationally, the worst thing you can do is ignore the local insights from your local squads. It isn’t hard to understand that your local team are probably one of the most valuable and familiar sources of information on the local market and far more clued up than you are. Allow your local teams to put their opinions across and allow them to be part of the main discussion regarding strategies and operations and they can help with your progress and growth of the business.
Not having a strategy in place for international expansion
If you’re thinking of expanding internationally and you don’t have a plan and stop what you’re doing and have a long hard thing of what you are doing. It is completely irresponsible to expand into a new country with your business without having a plan. You need to be completely methodical with your approach and have everything backed up with valid data for every decision. The turtle didn’t win the race for nothing. Speed is not always the case when expanding, if your business is worth expanding, people will want your product or service.
It is essential to have all the resources ready, the research prepped and your work team ready to expand at a moment’s notice. If you do not have a plan you will be wasting a lot of money, time and effort not only for you but your team and workers.
Not hiring the right person for the job of international expansion
Hiring professionals for the job comes at a cost, when expanding internationally it is important to hire the right people for the job. Hiring an amateur with little to no experience, although maybe inexpensive may cost you a lot more in the long run route errors or unforeseen circumstances that have not arisen before in their experience.
When expanding internationally, your start-up team needs to be the best of the best. Being cheap on your Talents and reducing salaries means that your job is getting much more difficult because you are having to do much more of it yourself. Professionals for the job will allow you to get on with the more important things and be eased knowing that the other jobs are getting done correctly.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for startups in new countries to skimp on talent due to start-up costs and limited budgets. Hiring amateurs increase employee turnover due to the hard work and unforeseen experience and you will end up spending much more money on hiring new employees instead of actual startup costs. To avoid this, be realistic with your salaries don’t ask too much for the job and ensure that you have a well-structured budget to attract the best talent in your industry.
Taking cross-cultural communications for granted
English-speaking countries take a lot of things for granted. Often translation is not clear and many fail to accurately translate marketing messages into dialects. It is essential to have translators transcribe one language and dialect to the other. One example of this is when Schweppes first launched its brand in Italy which was mistakenly transcribed from Schweppes tonic water to Schweppes toilet water. For this reason, it is essential that the language translated portrays the same message as you wanted so you can appeal to the masses without offending or confusing your potential customers.
There are many mistakes to avoid when expanding internationally. If you deal on a credit basis, then speaking to a credit insurance broker will ensure you are protected against any bad debtors throughout your process.