Taking your small business to the international stage can be very challenging particularly considering your small budget, limited international exposure, and economic uncertainties in different parts of the world. That is not to mean that you should limit your market to your local population.
Technological advancements, as well as the emergence of social media, have created a great platform for ambitious small business people like you to step on in their pursuit of international greatness.
All you need to do is strategize and prepare your business well for the global audience. In this article, we look at the four most viable strategies that you can adapt for your small business so that it can boom globally.
Diversify your international markets
You generally have two investment options: investing big in one country and investing small in multiple countries. Each of the strategies has its advantages and drawbacks.
Investing all your money in a single international market will enable you to effectively compete with the dominant local and international companies and, if things go as planned, that one branch can easily grow and spread to other markets. The major drawback to this strategy is that if things go south, your entire international investment will come crumbling down.
Investing in a diversified manner means that your products will be present in multiple markets. That would mean investing small fractions of your capital, so you may not be able to compete at the highest level. Your small investments, however, have a chance of growing slowly but consistently until they find a space in the big players’ league. That’s without mentioning that if one country is hit by unfavorable economic waves, only one of your multiple units will go down.
Of the two options, diversifying your investments remains to be your most realistic path to take.
Your customer service should be as flawless as possible
Statistics show that customers abandon a seller after a single shopping if they aren’t satisfied with the customer care standards. The last thing you want is to repel international customers when you desperately need them to campaign for your brand. Note that word of mouth advertising has proved to be effective over years, and leveraging it should be your key goal. Besides, you cannot downplay the effects of negative word of mouth reviews from dissatisfied customers.
How will you satisfy international customers? By shipping their products and delivering them in good time, ensuring that their purchases arrive in perfect conditions, and as much as you can, don’t charge them for shipping or delivery. People love free things, you know. Your contact lines need to be open to customers at all times and whenever a client complains about receiving damaged goods, make it easy for them to get replacements.
Apply for both government and private financing
Insufficient capital could be a major hindrance to your international success. The surest way of navigating around this hurdle is applying for low-interest financing from the government as well as private lenders. There are many investors out there who are ready to invest in your dream as long as you can convince them that your business plan will work. That reminds us one more thing: Your business plan must be flawless and well researched so as to get the funding that you need. You must also streamline your finance management plans, ensure that you are paid in good time and that your money doesn’t go to wasteful and unnecessary investments.
Leverage the power of international connections
From an online perspective, you need to get as much online traffic as possible coming to your website. Ensure that your website contains all the relevant information that your target international audience wants, and all the motivation they need to purchase your products. Your SEO plan must also be well thought in order for it to rank as high as possible on search engines and generate new business leads.
From an offline perspective, you need to create a unique connection with all stakeholders: your suppliers, staff members in different countries, and your business partners. These people are loyal brand ambassadors for your startup company. You must never disappoint or frustrate them.
Among the international markets that you need to try out is definitely Asia, particularly China. The country’s economy has been growing tremendously well and its huge population presents you with one of the biggest markets you will ever find. What’s more, succeeding in China is extremely easy thanks to the many companies, such as NH Global Partners, that specialize in handling all the hiring processes for you. If you contact a Professional Employer Organization, you will only have the suppliers and other logistics to worry about as everything to do with acquiring employees will be well taken care of.
Rilind Elezaj is a marketing specialist at SavvySME. He has a passion for sharing things that can help businesses grow successfully.