This blog is re-posted from Growth Nation, www.growthnation.com
Diamonds are all around your feet – you just need to reach down and pick them up!
So it often is with global growth. Often CEO’s don’t know what they don’t know, and opportunities for growth are lost because the risks of growing globally are overstated or the opportunities are understated, or both.
1. Do the market research. Have a special product or service, otherwise customers in other countries will simply buy local. Understand the market need and competition before jumping in.
2. Prioritize your market entry plan. Reach out for ‘lowest hanging fruit’ and pick off those best opportunities first as part of a global growth plan. Early wins are good!
3. Utilize resources you have. Take advantage of export assistance programs and talk to those ‘in the know’ such as Growth Nation who can point you to a variety of resources to reduce risk and increase the probability of success.
4. Place marketing and sales first. Sweat the marketing and sales details first so that when you build the infrastructure such as offices, administration and legal – they won’t have to be redone.
5. Make sure you’re covered legally. Protect your intellectual property, period. Reach out for expert help, and we can help you with the specific resources that will be best for your business and intended markets.
6. Get logistics and financials handled. Pull in the experts to get you prepared for problems that can and will occur. Again we can help with who those best choices will be for your business.
7. Select partners you can count on. Local partners in the countries you’ll be working are critically important to your success. Decide carefully because changing later can be a disaster.
8. Be cross-culturally savvy. All sorts of cross-cultural issue can bite you and your business. Keep cross-cultural issues in mind by testing, researching and pulling in those resources that can judge what you have from a local perspective.
9. Be a global marketer. Beyond starting with marketing and sales in your plan, fully embrace marketing in each country as you implement your country entry plan.
10. Adopt a 24/7 mindset. We’ve run into teams that don’t want to work weekends or after 5pm. If your team isn’t ‘there’, international expansion may not be for you.
International growth offers wonderful rewards and deep challenges. Do the upfront work to be prepared and then execute as flawlessly as you can, using experienced resources who are flexible, creative and have ‘been there, done that’.
Doug Bruhnke, Growth Nation
About Doug Bruhnke
CEO and Chief Growth Officer of Growth Nation, a global full-service marketing firm creating better leads, stronger brands and higher revenue for clients in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and professional services. Our growth process has created over $1 billion of new revenue.