Breaking into a new market is something that many entrepreneurs dream of. Having already developed a profit-generating or close to profitable product in their own country, they often then find themselves in a position to break into a new nation’s market. But how can this be achieved? Is it simple and easy to do, or can it cause headaches? This article will answer these questions and more.
Visit the place
First off, it’s wise to make a fact-finding visit to the place you intend to expand to. In an age in which even the experience of going to a new place can largely be simulated or replicated using Google Maps or other online tools, a personal visit can open up all sorts of benefits. It gives you the chance to try out similar services and see how they are marketed and operated, while it could even lead to you to finding new business opportunities and contacts.
Perform market research
Market research may sound like something of a drag, but it’s really important from an expansion perspective. All too often, business leaders who are considering making the move to a foreign country will do so on instinct – perhaps they have heard anecdotal evidence of firms operating there successfully, or maybe they have come across media articles that promote the place as an investment destination.
But this can be a recipe for disaster, and without some rigorous evidence behind you to back up your decision, you could find yourself wasting cash. Say you’re exporting a medical product to China: getting a research firm to investigate beforehand whether or not your product meets local NMPA (National Medical Products Association) regulations could save you lots of time and headaches in the long run.
Learn the language
In the age of Google Translate, language barriers seem like yet another problem that technology can fix. But nothing beats learning the local language and speaking at least a basic level of it with some accuracy if only in order to be able to build relationships with clients, investors and staff members. You may be able to hire a tutor for this purpose, or else use a purpose-built app.
Take the leap
Finally, a word of caution: don’t be too cautious! All too many potentially successful expansion projects never get off the ground because of fear. While there’s no guarantee of success, it’s also the case that following these tips can decrease and manage the risks and increase the chances of things going well.
Breaking into a new market is not a guaranteed road to success – even if your product or service is working well in your own country. But there are ways to increase the chances of success as much as is possible: from confirming that you can communicate with suppliers in the new region to ensuring that you carry out the market research required before moving over, there are plenty of ways in which enhance your chances of success.