Riding this new globalization wave should yield companies several significant advantages. These include extending the life of existing products and services by promoting them in new markets, as well as reducing dependence on existing U.S. markets, according to Entrepreneur magazine.
“International expansion is impossible without cooperation from everyone from the CEO’s office all the way down to the shipping department.”
Companies whose business is plagued by destabilizing market fluctuations that stem from seasonal changes or demand cycles can also “even out sales” by tapping into markets with different or countercyclical fluctuations.
A strategic approach is needed, however, if companies are to take full advantage of globalization’s potential. Your strategy should include the following key points.
- Secure commitments across the board. This means everyone from the CEO’s office down to the shipping department. International expansion is impossible without such cooperation.
- Define a business plan and a budget. Some companies’ budget for global expansion is based on a percentage of domestic business profits; others opt for a “pay-as-we-can-afford” model.
- Anticipate a long lead time. Entrepreneur suggests a two-year lead time for “world penetration.”
- Identify prime targets. Thorough market research will reveal where in the world a given product or service will be in greatest demand.
- Search out data needed to assess how a product or service will sell in a more specific geographic location. This “homework,” according to Entrepreneur, will enable companies to pinpoint how much product, or what extent of service, they will be able to sell in a specific period.
- Bring in professionals. The team should encompass an attorney, an accountant, a savvy banker, and a seasoned transport specialist, all of whom specialize in the international market.
- Brush up on transport documentation and export licensing procedures. If this is too time-consuming, engage a freight forwarder.
Going global is an achievable goal. It just takes a little patience and the right strategy.