If your first indication that there’s a market outside your home country is a customer begging for your product, you’re already late to the go global game. Despite this obvious sign, there are other signals that can trigger your need to prepare to expand your business to a broader market. Picking up on these signals is crucial to making a change. Here are eight you should be aware of.
1. You are seeking greater revenue growth and profitability for your business. If you find yourself constantly asking your team how to get greater growth and profitably out of your business, it’s time to go global. Going global can provide new sources of revenue, yield greater profits for your business and secure a better future for a business.
2. You have a marching order. Perhaps you are working as director of sales for a company, and your boss walks into your office one day and says, “We are in the process of expanding to multiple geographies in the next 18 to 24 months. As a result, we would like you to take over this initiative.” Get ready for the exciting ride of your life.
3. You work a local trade show, and most of your interest comes from international customers. People forget how powerfully effective trade shows can be for connecting with cross-border customers (read more at Exhibiting At Trade Shows). Nothing beats an overseas customer champing at the bit wanting to buy your product.
4. You have saturated the domestic market and are experiencing sluggish growth in your home market. Are you selling specialty shoes in your home market and saturated the demand for your product? Or are you selling smartwatches and there’s been a sudden decrease in demand? A way to overcome market saturation or slow growth in your home market is to look at overseas markets.
5. You receive inquiries to your site from other parts of the world. With an ecommerce site, customers around the world will eventually find you, provided you’ve made it easy for them to do so. When you generate a heavy concentration of inquiries on your website for your product from a particular geographic market, move into it. The people there are telling you they want it.
6. You experience extreme seasonal peaks and valleys on your domestic business. To insulate your business from seasonal sales fluctuations, find foreign markets to counterbalance the dips in demand. For example, some firms gear up for Valentine’s Day only to see sales nosedive in March. Why not also focus on Japan’s “White Day”, which takes place one month after Valentine’s Day? Sell to other nations with peak-buying seasons early in the new year to avoid a winter sales slowdown.
7. You see that all your competitors are going global. What are they doing that you should be doing or doing better? Taking one step to enter a new overseas market that your competitor hasn’t entered might outmaneuver that domestic-only rival with stronger company performance.
8. You are bored. Let’s face it, we all run out of steam at some point or another when doing the same thing over and over, even when it’s working. With taking a business global, you perpetrate a whole new set of interesting challenges for yourself and your team. Make it fun, and treat it as a learning adventure.