One of the major ways businesses grow is to expand beyond the market they started in. This has lots of advantages: as you near the ceiling of your current market’s potential for revenue, then repeating your success abroad should be easier than it was the first time around: after all, you’ve already made all your mistakes!
Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple, and you need to invest in international research to learn more about this new market. Like when you leave home for the first time in your own life, leaving your home market comes with challenges and risks, and it can leave you feeling intimidated at the bigger world you’ve stepped into.
The Challenges of a New Market
One of the main challenges you’ll face is the rules and regulations governing your new market. You may have a degree of confidence from having successfully navigated the bureaucracy of taxation, certification and permissions the first time around, but this can lead you astray. Small differences can exist even between similar countries, and if you don’t pay the right taxes or importation fees, or make sure you have the right permissions to operate before you begin, this could have serious repercussions for you later. In the best case, you may be hit with fines you have not budgeted for. In the worst, the coincidence of you not having the right permits and permissions with a customer having a bad experience could lead to a public court-case that’s as damaging for your reputation as it is for your bank balance and could lead to the end of your attempt at expansion and threaten your original, stable business.
The best way to avoid these bad outcomes is to work with experts. Find business advisors and specialist accountants who know not only how your industry works, but how this new territory works, and you’ll be getting advice that will help you navigate these new waters.
You might think that your website, adverts, and any other literature have already worked once before, so you can simply translate and repeat them.
In many cases though, you can’t simply repeat the same material. You’re advertising into a different culture, and even if those differences are small and subtle, they can make a big difference in how your message is received!
It can take a lot of work to properly translate your marketing: to not simply translate the words, but the cultural meaning of what you have to say, so it has the same effect in your new market as it did in the original.