1: Look at your current business
Before you even think about expanding your business internationally, Steve advised that you have to know your current business inside and out. What specifically works about your current business? What are your margins? What systems do you have in place?
Most importantly, you have to be able to see your product or service through the eyes of the consumer. You have to understand why it is they buy from you and decide whether you can replicate this abroad.
2: Research your opportunities
Once you’ve got a grasp of your current business model, you have to research your opportunities.
We live in an age of rapid free flow of information, where it has never been easier to conduct research or instantaneously communicate.
Russell recommended using this to your advantage. Even within Google, there are many tips and tricks. Looking for long reports and white papers on a specific subject? Type “filetype:pdf and then what you’re looking for. Looking for financial documents in spreadsheet format? Type “filetype:xls”.
If only I’d known these tricks when I was researching my dissertation!
3: Innovation- seek out the support around you.
4: Decide on a place
With 194 countries outside the UK, picking somewhere to go can be difficult. You only need to pick one!
5: Go there
Once you’ve decided on a market you want to move in to, you should go there. While there, be sure to meet as many people as you possibly can.
6: Start experimenting
Before you move into the market, you can trial out how well your marketing messages will work for a small investment. One of the attendees, Peter, from Splash White Water Rafting, told us about how he had tested out how popular his service would be in different countries by trialing paid Facebook ads. While he found Australia to be generally receptive, Norwegians weren’t interested.
7: Be thorough with localisation
While perfectionism isn’t something that should be aspired to, Steve recommended that you are absolutely thorough with localisation. For a business to localise, it needs to truly understand a country’s business culture and how to appeal to its people. For an overview of business cultures around the world, Steve recommended a book called “Mind Your Manners”, by John Mole.
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