10 Steps To Build An Internationally Successful Business

Starting a business that’s going to be successful on a national level, or even in your local area can be tough. You need to make sure you’ve done as much research as you possibly can, that you have the right mindset, and that you have everything you need in place before getting started. You need a strong team, a large budget, a business plan – the list goes on. However, what are you supposed to do if your dreams don’t stop there? What if you want to build an internationally successful business?

In this post, we’re going to discuss 10 steps you can take to build an internationally successful business. Take a look and see if you’re up for the challenge:

  1. Performing Due Diligence

Before you can even think about going global, you need to understand what the impact on your business will be. How will going global affect your business? You should consider market opportunity and sizing, how big the market is, and how long it’ll take you to get the sales that you want. You’ll also need to analyze your competition, so will the market still buy your product even though it’ll be more expensive than local products? Market segmentation will help you to figure out if your product is going to sell in the local market. What incentive will locals have to purchase from you and not another business that’s already over there?

  1. Putting Together A Strategy And Business Plan

Developing a strategy and business plan that drives local success is important, but you need to make sure it remains integrated with your overall corporate strategy and objectives. Make sure you have a short and long term strategy, as well as reasonable goals that will help you to measure your progress. Your business plan is absolutely crucial to your success. It may not be the best part of starting a business, but it’s certainly worth it once you’ve created one. It can help to keep you focused when you’re unsure of what to do. You can find templates online to help you, just make sure you take your time filling it out.

You need to make sure you’ve thought up a complete business model and structure, and if you set up a separate company, you’ll need a branch or a sales office. A tactical project plan with commit dates and an annual budget should also be laid out.

  1. Establishing Your Team

It’s risky to attempt to build a team from scratch. You may end up hiring the wrong people and rushing. Using proven executives from your existing companies  will allow your company to get off to the best start, quickly validate your assumptions, drive readiness, and more while the company hires the right senior management team. This is just temporary until you begin the process of hiring the permanent team.

  1. Product Readiness

Using your product gap analysis, you should take the necessary steps to ensure your offerings are market ready and that you’ll achieve product differentiation. You’ll need to review government and industry-specific regulations to ensure that compliance and certifications are obtained if you need them. You’ll also need to figure out whether localization of the product is needed. Make sure you pay particular attention to the translation of the name of the product in the local language. You don’t want it to be offensive, gross, or off putting in any way. In some cases, it might simply make sense to change the name for whatever reason. Pennies in Ireland is Primark everywhere else. Walkers crisps are called Lays in some foreign countries. Bear this in mind as you prepare your product for the market.

Quality testing and assurance should be undertaken based on local standards, and you need to know the distribution network, who will sell your product and how it’s going to get to them.

  1. Organizational Readiness

Now it’s important you consider organizational readiness too. You need to make sure you explore things like language, regulations, cultural differences, customs, and more. This is the only way you can be sure that your organization is ready. You can’t have a one size fits all mindset if you’re going to successfully build an international business. Make sure you develop policies, procedures, and handbooks that comply with local requirements while maintaining balance with overall company policies. You should also work to develop competitive benefits and packages based on standards and customs in the area.

  1. Make Sure You Have A Go To Market Strategy

Selling and marketing your products around the world or simply in another country requires you to know how to market your products, services, and more with a cohesive strategy that addresses every relevant aspect. You’ll need to think of branding, sales delivery, differentiators and more so you can figure out market acceptance and revenue growth. Make sure you work to determine your sales methodology: solution, feature, consultative, price? You should also make sure you determine if a new brand will be created or whether you will use the parent brand.

Don’t forget that your pricing model may also need to be examined and changed depending on the market and your findings.

  1. Legal Readiness

Some countries are more litigious than others. It’s essential that strong legal processes are put in place to minimize any unnecessary commercial risks. Make sure you have localized commercial agreements, and that you review industry specific regulations to make sure compliance and certifications are yours if you need them. You can outsource many of these tasks if you need to.

You need to make sure you’re paying attention to the proper tax and finance infrastructures on top of this. What will you do about outsourcing, accounting, pay roll, and tax? How will you prepare VAT taxes and report sales? What will your risk management plan be?

  1. Your Final Budget Preparations

You need to make sure you use the information here to outline a budget that is sufficient, aggressive, yet attainable. Have a 3 month budget and a 12 month business plan ready and update every 6 months. You should ensure you perform quarterly operating reviews, and establish a real time budget to reporting. Make sure you look at different services you might need when getting started and factor them into your business budget too, such as a company formation service. Outsourcing and hiring professional companies to take care a lot of the hard work for you will make the process so much better.

  1. Developing Close Relationships with local businesses

By developing strong relationships with local businesses you can gain a strong advantage in the market. It will help you to come up with negotiate alliance/partner/distributorship programs. Make sure you build an internal alliance team to manage and foster relationships too.

  1. Get On Every Online Platform

Your business should be on every online platform that you can imagine. Cross border customers will find you this way. Don’t think any longer about creating social media pages if you haven’t already. The more platforms you use, the better the chance you have of being discovered, however, you need to make sure you’re consistent with them.

It’s important that you remember that expanding your business overseas shouldn’t be taken lightly. Global markets will offer greater opportunities for growth, however, so it’s inevitable that many will want to move at some point. Doing things like paying attention to detail and outsourcing administrative functions when “going global” can produce great results. How will you create a successful international business?