Expansion into foreign markets is a natural part by which the company can develop. Cooperation with foreign contractors, apart from the obvious benefit in the form of a new sales channel, improves the company’s image also in its home country. However, before you decide to enter the international market with your product or service, you need to take into account a few key issues that will give you an advantage from the very beginning.
Domain name – the end of a web address is important
The domain of a given website is important when it comes to how the search engine algorithm works. Pages with a national ending (ccTLD domains), .pl in case of Poland, will be positioned higher in the search results for Polish Internet users. And the other way round – a Polish website will have a hard time getting up the ladder for users abroad, for example, in Germany. If you want to enter the German market, it is a good idea to create a national domain (.de) or a functional (gTLD) one, such as .com or .org. Adapting the domain to the country is also important because a familiar domain name is easier to identify and remember.
Which market to choose?
Wesley Johnston, Professor of Marketing at Georgia State University in Atlanta, highlights a number of factors that can help or hurt your business a lot when you want to enter foreign markets. Ask yourself the following questions:
○ Will your product sell in the culture you choose to target? Do market research.
○ Is the market you want to enter familiar with your product or service? If not, prepare to invest time and resources in consumer education. On the other hand, you have a chance to introduce something new and surprising to the market.
○ Do you feel comfortable in this country? It is important because you will probably spend a lot of time there at the beginning of your business start-up. You will need at least basic knowledge of the culture and it will be of help to learn the basics of the language spoken there.
“If you are not satisfied with your answers in the context of the country where you want to launch your product, it is probably better if you find another place. This does not mean that your idea is poor. I do not believe that there is an idea that just won’t sell. You have the whole world to choose from.” /Wesley Johnston/
Before you decide on a place, you must know:
○ Whether your potential customer exists – do a thorough market analysis. Your client’s profile in a new market may not be consistent with that of your existing clients. You must take these differences into account and adapt to the specifics of where you want to start selling.
○ What are the standards in the new market?
○ That it is easier to start from markets that are similar to your home market. Of course, do not expect everything to work out the same way. Just take into account that the fewer differences, the better. Think about economic and commercial law, cultural standards, the tax system. In a country like yours, it will be easier for you to judge whether your business model is compliant with the reality there.
○ Whether your business requires a patent. The lack of consistency in national and international patent law, a complicated and quite long procedure, and high costs are often a serious challenge for a company entering the market. Remember that in many situations a patent is not needed – a well-developed business plan is enough.
○ What strategies are available to you to enter foreign markets. You can focus on export, find a distributor, open a branch, or find a partner. Each of these solutions has its pros and cons.
It is obvious, but at the same time so crucial, that I cannot fail to mention it. Before you start doing anything towards entering a new market, you need to have a team that speaks English or the language of the country where you want to start selling. You also need your website, documents, contracts, and offer translated in the target language. You need to know the legal aspects of concluding international agreements, be able to offer your customers easy online payment, and adjust the working hours of your team to the time zone of the country you are targeting.
In order to enter a market where no one knows your brand, you need to present your experience well. In an ideal situation, you can describe a case study of one well-known company and expect someone willing to cooperate will come up. Yet what if you do not have such a company in your portfolio? It is difficult. Describe what you have, as long as it is good. Provide detailed data, try to get positive opinions from your existing clients, make sure you have a graphic analysis of the problems you managed to solve. Your goal is to build the trust of people who have not yet had to deal with your brand. Getting your credibility proved by others is an excellent strategy to achieve this.
Technological solutions play an important role in a sector of small and medium-sized enterprises sensitive to competition, trends, and economic changes.
The data collected by Boston Consulting Group shows that:
○ companies that invest in technology grow faster than the competitors reluctant to use new technologies.
○ a business that has invested in technology is more likely to be successful on foreign markets.
○ unrestricted access to markets works particularly well in e-commerce.
Use cold email method
This is an effective method of making the first contact with people who fit within the client profile developed during the market analysis. The leads generated in this way will show different values for you. In order not to waste time on contacting people who are not interested in cooperation, perform a lead evaluation. How? You can find out more by reading our cold mailing guide for beginners.
Remember that your cold email content should meet the following structure criteria:
Be visible, establish relationships
○ Attend conferences and industry events where you may expect to meet people from your target group
○ Do not forget about social media. Make your brand appear in places on the web that are popular with your potential customers, upload valuable content there. Do not forget to redirect the users to your landing page.
○ Use your current contacts, I bet you have more of them than you think.
As InStream Group we run effective B2B lead generation campaigns based on the cold email method. We support companies in the process of acquiring business contacts on foreign markets. Contact us if you think that we can help you, we will do it with great pleasure.