The business game has changed – today’s entrepreneurs want to appeal to a global audience.
But going global has hidden challenges that entrepreneurs often fail to consider. Here, we outline the 5 big things you need to think about before you go global.
1. Do your homework
Be prepared to adapt to new markets. Key areas of research should include: Tax, trade laws, IP, buying behaviours and logistics.
“Many lawsuits arise in the USA because of poorly drafted contracts. It is better to incur legal fees to prepare a well-drafted contract for the USA market that will help you avoid potential claims and lawsuits.” -www.gov.uk
I worked with (designer, entrepreneur and ex-Dragon) Kelly Hoppen a few years ago. She believes it’s essential to really understand new markets, and can mean the difference between success and failure.
“The nuts and bolts of your business are just as important as your big sell so make sure you know it inside and out. Be clear on the logistics, it’s not enough to have an amazing idea, the key to success is how you execute it.” – Kelly Hoppen
As a marketer, you need to understand:
- Your competitors
- What’s distinctive about your brand
- The gap in the market
- Your audience
“There are 28 million small businesses in America that account for 54 per cent of all
U.S. sales and 55 per cent of all available jobs.” -US Small Business Administration
2. Be advised
Entrepreneurs are fearless, tenacious, committed and hard working. But they aren’t the best person to do everything.
If you’re planning on doing business overseas, consult advisers with a proven track record in the relevant sector and jurisdiction.
3. Build a brand
Your brand sets you apart from others and creates an emotional connection with your audience, so don’t be tricked into thinking it’s just your logo. Your brand has a big job to do, and will build value for your business, so be prepared to invest to create experiences and content that really connect.
Uber is a great example: In 5 years it has grown into a global business operating in over 60 countries and is valued at $68 billion. Not bad for a business with no vehicles and virtually no employees.
“Great brands appeal to all 5 senses and have to be powered up to deliver a full sensory and emotional experience.” -Martin Lindstrom, americanexpress.com
4. Get your stories right
Find ways to express your brand personality through different content and formats like music, video and imagery. Brand stories should be entertaining, inspiring and educational.
As your business expands you’ll need to create new, relevant content without losing your authenticity and heritage.
5. Be digitally savvy
According to the European Commission, businesses that fail to connect digitally will be excluded from the global market within a few years.
Today, there are multiple channels to consider and social media can help grow your brand, by building a strong community of customers and advocates.
But your website is still your most valuable asset – a brand flagship where your audience will shop, get information and start a conversation. As a minimum, make sure your website:
- Is mobile responsive
- Integrates SEO and SEM so you can be found easily
- Is regularly updated with new content
There is much to consider when trying to build a global business: Investment, the best advice and using smart technology to name three. Hopefully by pausing to consider these five areas it will help you prepare to go global.
Michelle Roberts-Clarke is head of strategy at Brand Remedy.