As a tech entrepreneur, you are likely looking for ways to grow your business and expanding to a global market might be the answer. Well, it has become easier and more convenient for businesses to expand overseas thanks to globalization. You can attract more customers, take advantage of top global talent, save cash and more. Talking of expanding your tech business to a global market, here are a few valuable tips to help you get it right.
Assess the market thoroughly
The first step you should take before expanding your business overseas is to conduct intensive market research to understand what you are getting yourself into. This assessment also allows you to determine the current demand for your product or service. Your research should cover aspects like your strengths and weaknesses, intel about your competitors, potential modifications to your products to accommodate foreign users, and a comparison of the total available market and serviceable available market.
Work with local experts
It would help if you had eyes and ears on the ground for your tech business to thrive overseas. Local expertise is valuable when dealing with uncharted foreign markets and making strategic decisions that could make or break your business. A significant issue with bringing foreign experts on board is the language barrier. Time zone differences can also prove challenging to the communication process. The best way forward would be to establish a clear communication channel.
Start with one specific expansion market
After drafting a list of potential options, you could narrow down on one specific country and determine how best to infiltrate it. If you are just starting out, choosing a country with high market demand would be wise. However, your list shouldn’t deter you from thinking outside the box. Some countries might not be your first or second choice, but they will surprise you. For instance, most tech companies would expand to the United States, France, Germany, or the United Kingdom. However, a country like Copenhagen might surprise you, even though it is less lucrative than the ones above.
Understand the business culture and comply with regulations
Your business model may have worked in your home country. However, the same model could cause you to get on the wrong side of the law when you try to expand your business overseas. You might also experience challenges when expanding to a highly regulated environment, where the rules and regulations threaten to keep you in a chokehold all the time. Seeking guidance from leading customs brokers is smart because they simplify the complexities of international trade and mitigate any risks you might encounter. Customs brokers also offer you one efficient point of contact, ensuring they integrate seamlessly with your internal team.
Seek legal advice
It isn’t wise to wait till you are in a fix to secure legal representation. The intelligent move would be to hire a local attorney familiar with all the legal aspects in your target country. They can help you lay the groundwork for a smooth transition and handle all the paperwork so you can focus on more urgent matters. Since applying for a trademark overseas might be tricky, you might need a trademark attorney to help you protect your brand name. You wouldn’t want another company to steal all your hard work in one fell swoop.
Determine how many team members you need
Even with impeccable leadership, your tech company is only as good as your team members. The employees you hire to work in your overseas branch should be well-versed in the local culture and able to make meaningful connections. Your tech company will need more employees if you plan to handle physical goods. On the other hand, you don’t need so many team members if you can manage all your operations remotely.
Rethink your marketing channels
Playing by the rules that brought you success in your native country will not guarantee you will thrive in the new market. We understand you want to maintain a certain level of consistency that your clients associate with your brand. However, expanding your business internationally opens you to new faces with specific needs. Therefore, it would help to reevaluate your marketing strategy to ensure you reach your target audience.
Expanding your business overseas opens you up to a new revenue pool, improves your company’s reputation, allows you to help more people, and exposes you to impeccable talent. Remember, you are better off expanding internationally early in your business journey than waiting five or ten years to take the giant leap, provided it is at the right time and with the right strategies.