The dream for business owners is to be successful. For some that is to establish a single store or point of service that ensures they are the leading figure in their market and location. For others the dream is to think wider and look to establish their business and brand in other countries. Here we take a look at the challenges you’ll face if you decide to take your business to a different country.

How can you ensure there is as a smooth transition as possible?

Research the Market – Your product and service might be really popular in your location and the UK as a whole, but be careful to fully research the international market as a whole before even considering the move fully. Will your company work in a different country or will you have to find a different way to service that location. Your goods might work in France, but not for the Korean audience for instance, and you’ll have to learn the best ways to package your brand depending on your target market.

Build an Effective Network – From suppliers to other businesses in different sectors, looking to build long-term partnerships based around trust and loyalty is a must for any successful business. Linking up with a different company that is an already established brand might also give you a way into a new country, rather than starting from nowhere.

Do Not Overstretch – Slow and considered expansion is more likely to be a successful transition, as you do not want to spread your business and expertise too thinly. Target countries where you are more likely to be successful and don’t neglect your duties in the UK, as your bread and butter will always be your custom base

Don’t Get Lost in Translation – All of your marketing endeavours, but especially your website, must be carefully translated into the language of your target country. There are not only language difference, in terms of the nuances of a message and different dialects that can mean different things once translated, but also cultural differences and the meanings of colour in different locations. Be careful not to alienate your new market from the off.

Update Your Social Offering – Linked to the above, once you have expanded your business into new territories your social media and online marketing should accurately reflect this. Make it known on your primary account that you’ll be trading within these new markets, and also create sub-accounts that deal explicitly with these markets, in order to have a strong customer service presence immediately as you enter that country.

There are a number of challenges business owners faces as they expand into new territories but as long as the transition is sensibly managed and you understand how to overcome and flourish as a result of these challenges it is a really exciting and rewarding time.

Take the time to read through our guides for start-up businesses. There is plenty of advice and help available so don’t be frightened to take the plunge.
Our Free Download section is also full of templates which will help you get started.
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