Although the prospect of a looming Brexit, unfortunately, managed to somewhat discourage UK based organisations from approaching the international markets with their products and services, many experts predict that once the dust has fully settled, UK business expansion into foreign markets will continue to grow at a reasonable rate. With a majority government and a trade deal with the EU now more likely than ever before, investors and business owners feel slightly more positive about their international prospects in the future.
It’s important to note, that in today’s globalised world, a growing number of UK companies must approach and expand into overseas markets not only to increase their sales and revenue but often also to simply survive, as their home market becomes extremely saturated and competitive with fierce international rivals.
Although an international business expansion can be a significantly rewarding venture, it can also be a difficult and lengthy one. The process of taking your company abroad requires not only an in-depth planning and a clear strategy but also a perfect execution of the said plan.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at factors which a company ‘going global’ must take into consideration and pay close attention to in order to increase their chances for success on the international turf.
Translate and Speak the Market’s Language
A rapidly growing number of experts around the world begins to fully notice and perhaps appreciate the true importance of approaching markets in their native language. Recently, the use of language has been in the spotlight as it allows organisations and businesses to approach foreign markets in a truly tailored and personalised manner. Indeed, numerous studies found that consumers in practically all markets around the world strongly prefer to be approached in their native language and companies which translate their content to match the market’s needs and expectations are generally perceived much more positively.
Consequently, agencies which specialise in professional translations became important business partners in recent years and an increasing number of UK based companies incorporate translations within their annual budgets.
Looking at the data provided by Translation Services London – one of the fastest growing translation agencies in the United Kingdom, there is a very clear and strong growth pattern in the number of businesses which require professional translations of a wide range of materials across a number of different languages. Generally, translation services cover anything from simple legal documents to more complex marketing materials and also entire campaigns. By working closely with a language services provider in order to translate content, companies and organisations are able to successfully and consistently communicate their message to the potential customers and business partners across different channels.
In the UK alone, there are several professional translation agencies which specialise in business translation services – the previously mentioned Translation Services London, but also Language Reach Transcreations or Lingo24 – just to name a few, which provide accurate and reliable translations and other language services.
Get to Know Your Customers, Well.
After choosing the potential market you wish to expand into, it is also crucial to fully understand the consumers within it. Getting to know their behaviours, stimuli behind purchasing decisions or even the general economic aspects can directly influence your company’s venture abroad.
Other aspects like socio-demographic or even religious characteristics are also extremely important to understand as it will allow you and your company to prepare better marketing campaigns, targeting your chosen audience in a tailored way. By doing this, you’ll be able to positively influence their behaviour in a very direct way.
In order to better understand your chosen audience, you can cross-analyse their behaviours with your home market – this will highlight any similarities as well as differences between them and give you a deeper insight into their behaviours and the stimuli behind it, allowing you to further tailor your campaigns.
Understand Your Market, Fully.
Even today, in a globalised world with easy access to practically unlimited information and data, one of the most common mistakes businesses make during international expansion is, quite simply, choosing the wrong market in the first place. By taking the time to explore different options and fully understanding some factors about the markets you are considering, you’ll be able to make an informed decision based on the information you found.
Ensuring that your brand and services/products are a good fit for the chosen market before the expansion actually starts, is essential if you want to achieve international success with your company. Analysing and fully understanding the overall landscape of the market – competitors, potential, saturation as well as other factors which might influence your business, such as political stability and growth potential can influence your final decision.
The ‘SWOT’ market analysis is a great place to start exploring your potential markets. This approach allows you to better understand Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.
Take Your Time Planning
Expanding your business abroad in order to acquire new customers is a lengthy and time-consuming procedure. One of the most common mistakes businesses make is hurrying through the process, wanting to start the actual trading as soon as possible. A prior comprehensive strategy and a detailed plan are however nothing short of essential.
A rushed and poorly executed plan can prove to be very expensive for the company in the long-term – not only in terms of the budget but also reputation and company image.
As, in most cases, the company would not yet have an established position and customer base on the new, foreign market, these aspects can be extremely significant.
Taking your company into a foreign market is an extremely complex and often expensive procedure. It can, nonetheless, be a very rewarding venture with a fantastic ROI if planned and executed correctly.
If the market you decide to approach is just right – not too saturated with competition or products similar to yours and at the same time with a good potential customer base, and if you take the time to fully understand the consumers within the market, their behaviours & the stimuli that affects them and their purchasing decisions, you’re on a good track for an international success. Translating your materials and approaching the country in its native language are just a couple of the additional aspects worth paying close attention to.