We operate in 15 countries globally, so we feel pretty confident on talking on the matter of becoming an international phenomenon…
The world is huge… I know that’s a shocker! There are millions of us, hundreds of countries all with their own languages and dialects. And it’s these considerations you need to think through when deciding about going global.
But is the world really that big? With the advances of technology it is probably becoming smaller than it has ever been before. You can have a conference call with China first thing, video chat with Australia at lunchtime and even screen share with New York before you leave the office. It’s when you think about it like this that you start to realise what a small place the world really is.
So when thinking about expanding globally there are a few things to take into consideration:
1. Be logical in your global expansions
Don’t just go sticking pins in a map and saying that’s where you want to expand to. Think about resources. Does it make more sense to start in Europe? Where cultures are similar and you can travel frequently whilst you set up your new venture? Think about your business objectives and measure these against your resources and make decisions based on sound logical fact, rather than assumptions and whims.
2. Go local and study local laws
It’s so important when you expand out of the UK that you localise your business. Don’t just translate your website for instance. Get a local translator that can make sense of your business and knows the market you are looking to move into.
What information is relevant to your new audience? What would they want to know? Different countries have different laws and it is important that you understand these before moving in so you don’t get into any hot water. Either hire a legal firm based in your new country or see if your legal advice in the UK offers international law options (you never know you might get a discounted rate).
3. Study the market
Look at whether there is a demand for your product/service. Do some focus groups and research before you launch a full blown move into the country. See who your competitors are. How much market share do they hold? Is there a gap for you in the market? Make sure you have all these answers before you decide to move there.
4. Look at your brand and learn the customs
Look at your brand name and logo, what does your name mean in mandarin or Spanish?
Think about whether you need to adapt your brand for international waters, or if your brand is globally accepted. For example, Walkers (the crisp brand) works in the UK but W is a difficult letter for many European countries, so in mainland Europe they are called ‘Lays’ with the same logo, so they are easily identifiable. Thinking about these small changes can have a huge impact on the success or failure of your global expansion plans.
5. Hire the right team
Barriers to success can be avoided if you have the right team in place. Take recommendations, use your UK connections and see if they have international teams that you can utilise. Having the right team in place will reduce your stress levels as well as save you money as there is a likelihood that you will avoid unnecessary costs of having to have logos re-printed, law suits to face and so on.
So go, make the leap… become a global superstar!
Want more tips? We’ve got more for you here.