For any type of company, international expansion obviously provides tremendous growth opportunities to penetrate and dominate new markets. Considering how resource consuming and challenging this is, however, start ups must be very clear about why they would even attempt international expansion and partnerships. The primary reason for international expansion and partnerships is to enable or accelerate market domination.Most companies, will require prominent consulting partners early on to support going to market in a new geography. Product companies may need distribution partners to accelerate user adoption and growth. Without these strategic partnerships in place, domination of any market will remain unachievable.
When to act. The question of when to take the leap is perhaps the most perplexing. Concerns over emerging competitors and agony over the possibility of lost opportunities can also not play on hands for an eager entrepreneur. Expanding internationally can be rather difficult and it’s wise to not let blind ambition ruin a golden opportunity.The first step is to ensure that the resources and scale are in place to properly plan and execute the expansion strategy. Next, be sure you’ve build enough reputation equity in your home market to give you credibility. As an unknown in a new market, you can try to have powerful references lined up to improve your chances of landing that important first customer.
How to succeed. While the exact strategy will vary depending on the industry and project specifics, a few standard principles should guide an international expansion effort: Find the path of least resistance. Look first to markets with similar characteristics that require minimal adjustment to your home-market strategy. For U.S. companies or other English-speaking countries will present lower barriers to entry than non-English-speaking countries. For instance, while China or Russia may be the largest market in terms of sheer population, in the meantime it can be extremely difficult for non-Chinese or Russian companies to penetrate without a proper consulting service provider.Use domestic resources to gain access. Many US or UK startups and profitable companies have native-born consultants who are already quite knowledgeable about their home market and may have existing networks that can help them to make an early connection to roll out their business successfully, cost effective and safe . Additionally, most leading foreign technology companies have local representation in Silicon Valley for the purposes of technology scouting, venture investments and other U.S. business dealings. It’s a good place to start when testing the opportunities.With success coming so quickly these days for many promising start ups, there’s only natural that wise entrepreneurs have begun considering international expansion earlier in their corporate life cycle. Many of them focus their investing pitch on the international potential from the very beginning.
Unique Strategy Approach. Typical copying and pasting strategy from one country to another is a recipe for disaster, however. Each market comes with its own nuances, mores and customs, and economic, regulatory and political issues that can vary widely even within a region. A successful international go-to-market strategy starts with a strong foundation of home-market success, backed by ample research, discerning analysis, strong networking and courage.