Ready to Learn How to Take Your Startup Global? Now is the time.
When you first started out, it’s safe to say you probably had big plans for your startup. You had visions of taking over the world. Being a leader. You’ve done your due diligence, and now it’s time. Here is how to take your startup global.
How to Prepare and What You Should Know
You may think you’re ready to take a flying leap and expand into a new global market, but it pays to take a step back and look at things objectively. WeWork’s Creator magazine understands that it’s important to make sure you have a stable home foundation to build off of before you dip a toe into international waters.
Make sure that you don’t overcommit your resources to an international venture and then handicap your primary business at home. Many run the risk of spreading yourself too thin to make your dreams of globalization a reality.
Another key is to realize that with global markets, you must do business differently. It’s almost as if you are starting a brand new business. What works in your local market may not work in others. Start fresh by creating a whole new plan and then rebranding if necessary for your new market.
Once you’ve laid some groundwork, start investigating the following steps.
Seven Steps to Going Global
When you’re thinking about how to take your startup global, keep in mind that taking your startup into an international new market can be both exciting and scary. But if you’re well-equipped, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
- Do your homework
- Understand the culture and its nuances
- Reach out to local experts
- Minimize language barriers by learning the language
- Take a trip and build relationships
- Understand strategies for international marketing
- Establish payment and billing systems for your new market
It’s obvious to anyone who has built a successful business that you must be prepared and informed. You would not be where you are if you didn’t do your homework first. Ajay Yadav, CEO, and founder of Roomi roommate services understands that it’s vital to select your market strategically. Understand what your core values and objectives are, then find a market that will allow you to focus on those.
Secondly, you must understand the local culture and its nuances. Can you or one of your colleagues or staff communicate with your new market and potential local staff? It’s not just enough for your team to understand the locals, as their leader, make sure to have a plan to get to know your new market and country too.
Learn the Language, Find the Experts and Build Relationships
Global expansion is more than just opening an office in a new country and getting a new stamp on your passport. It’s about embracing the culture, learning the language, becoming a student of the local experts and building relationships with your new community. Become one with your market.
If you have to rely on interpreters or your staff to interpret for you in your new market, you may want to consider buying yourself a copy of the Rosetta Stone software post haste. While building relationships with local experts and new business partners, it will be evident if you do not care enough to learn local customs and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
Gengo’s Countdown to Going Global recommends understanding the country’s business preferences for yourself. Bolster your new business partners’ confidence in you and your company by showing your dedication to their local culture and how much they mean to your business.
Dust Off Your Passport and Set the Example for Your Team
Digital businesses make things convenient and quick for busy executives who are trying to grow their businesses. Unfortunately, it also makes things impersonal and all about the bottom line. Make the time to visit the countries you will be doing business with to gain a better understanding of your new venture.
Get out and meet your new business partners. Shake hands with your new staff, vendors and local experts. Show them that they are more than just a business deal. Locals in your new global market will appreciate the effort and reciprocate in kind.
For your team, it’s important to be an example of the level of service and communication you expect with their new business partners. Show them photos of you sharing local customs and building these relationships. Lead by example and your team will follow suit.
Understand International Marketing Strategies and Establish New Billing Systems
Marketing strategies that worked at home may not be effective in your new market. Gather information to see whether you should focus on social media, online advertising, etc. Also research local currency exchanges, invoicing and payment methods. With all the new tools available, you should be able to set up a new system before you hand over the reins.
If you’re still unsure about how to take your startup global, leave us a reply below or contact us for a free consultation!