- Discover proven strategies to expand your customer base beyond local borders and tap into new markets around the world. Get actionable advice on how to grow your business internationally.
Growing your business and customer base internationally can help your business reach a whole new level of success. With the rise of globalisation, customers from around the world are becoming increasingly interconnected and accessible. However, expanding your customer base outside of your home country can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are proven strategies that you can use to make sure your business is successful in reaching an international audience.
If your goal, however, is to build a thriving global community, but you don’t yet have the interest, then you’ll want to use the tips in this guide.
How to Choose Which Markets to Focus On
The easiest way to sell internationally is to simply offer international shipping. This will help those who are big fans of yours to buy your products and get served. At the end of the day, however, these international orders aren’t going to account for much of your business.
That’s why you need to pick and choose markets to expand your business to. These markets will be country-based, yes, but don’t think that this limits you. If you expand your business to have a headquarters in Germany, for example, then French customers are more likely to buy through that platform than your US-based one.
One thing to keep in mind when expanding internationally is where to keep your focus. Due to language and value barriers, expanding properly takes time, commitment, and investment. You won’t be able to get away with automatically translating your website and product or service descriptions and call it a day. Instead, you’ll need to properly have everything translated. You’ll also need to use local systems and companies to fulfill orders of any kind.
This all means you need to be intentional when expanding internationally. To know where to put your focus, start with where your current international audience is based. You’ll then want to look into market research or paid research to determine which markets are most interested in your business and start from there.
Establishing a Headquarters
When you expand internationally, you need people on the ground. While you can absolutely send a few of your in-house employees overseas, this should be kept to a minimum. Having those that speak the language and understand what it takes for a company to succeed in their country on your team is a must.
Don’t be afraid to outsource, either. If you can only afford a small team to start with, hire agencies to handle your marketing, financials, and even sales. Outsourcing to agencies on the ground will help you get the best results while you’re finding your footing.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
One of the biggest hiccups in turning an interested buyer into an actual purchase is payment methods. Sending money, especially to an international company, can be daunting to first-time customers. The best way to ease their fears is to offer multiple payment options. If possible, let them pay with their bank, credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, or even with cryptocurrency.
Crypto, of course, is only just beginning to become adopted for consumer markets. The companies that would benefit most from adding crypto solutions aren’t B2C but rather B2B. This is because B2B companies, or even those paying their international suppliers, need to move large sums quickly and securely. When expanding internationally, adding new supply chains and making sure payments are prompt and secure is a must, which is where cross-border crypto transfers come into play.
Expanding Your Supply Chain
When it comes to expanding, know that your supply chain will also need to grow. You may need to find a new manufacturer if your production needs exceed what your current provider can offer. You’ll also need to consider new trade routes and transportation services. You’ll also need a warehouse or distribution center so that you can offer fast shipment to your customers.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to expanding your supply chain, so if you aren’t confident, bring in a supply chain specialist to help.
Tips for Service-Based Businesses
If you offer a service, then you must offer that service in the local language. While many in the international community do speak English, you will find it difficult to compete with local firms if you don’t also have experts on the ground fluent in that language. Always have at least one person on each team that can fluently communicate with your clients so that you can then better negotiate and work with them rather than work around the language barrier.