Exploring Overseas Markets: A Simple Guide For Entrepreneurs
Arguably the greatest beneficiaries of the internet age are entrepreneurs. Once, the scope of a business was limited to their local region; even nationwide was a reach that few businesses were able to achieve. Now, however, your business can conquer the world, selling to customers across the globe, all thanks to the wonders of modern technology and connectivity.
Many entrepreneurs seek to embrace the opportunities presented by the internet and expand their business into overseas markets without actually opening new field offices. While this is possible, there are a few factors you’ll need to keep in mind if you wish to do the same…
Understanding your customer is more important than ever
Every entrepreneur is aware of the importance of knowing your customers, but when expanding into overseas markets, it is arguably the single most essential factor that will decide your success.
Before seeking to advertise to overseas countries, get to know that country: read the news, follow a few blogs, get an idea of what people living in that region are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. This insight is invaluable and allows you to truly judge the viability of a potential market and understand what your new customers will expect from your company.
Communication requires specific attention
If you’re looking to expand into major markets such as the US and the UK, time zones will have a big impact on your customer service, so you may need to employ remote workers to compensate for this. Remote workers can manage live chat customer service at a schedule that is more in keeping with your overseas customers, so it’s well worth investigating this option further.
In addition, it’s also worth noting that some customers will always prefer to be able to get in touch via more traditional methods. This means you may need to hire an international, remote team of workers, who can answer queries from anywhere in the world at a time suitable for your customers. It’s also worth considering establishing a virtual postal address in locations where you are hoping to sell, which has the additional benefit of reassuring your customers – customers in Houston are more likely to feel comfortable sending mail to a Texas PO box, while Londoners will feel more reassured by a UK postcode.
If you can go global, so can your competitors
It is often tempting to think that expanding into overseas markets can be the saviour of a business, allowing you to access fresh new territory that can further your business goals. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and you may find that your competitors have already established a presence in an area you were hoping to expand into.
If you find this is the case, look elsewhere – it really is that simple. If the market is already crowded by other companies, then search for new territories, perhaps in smaller towns rather than large cities. This is far more likely to produce results than just becoming yet another overseas brand trying to make their mark and gives you the opportunity to be the first in a new area that your competitors have yet to notice.
Expanding the reach of your business and exploring overseas markets could be the natural next step for your company, but this process is not without its challenges. However, if you can keep the above points in mind, you should be well poised to embrace the new globalised world, and your business should benefit hugely as a result.
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