What’s the formula for creating an international business? This is the question that keeps large, medium and small-sized firms up at night, given that extending your market provides the possibility of boosting your brand recognition, while opening the doors to new cultures, new distributors and new languages, among other things.
Those seeking to attain that aim should know that there’s actually no guaranteed formula for doing so. A lot of factors are involved, so it’s impossible to predict whether you’ll be successful on the international market or not. What is, however, within your power is your decision-making capacity: you decide what steps to follow to reach your goal.
Nevertheless, it’s important to be advised by agencies that are well versed in this field, such as the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce
or ICEX Spain Exports and Investments
, which help companies on the road to internationalisation.
Meanwhile, here are some straightforward tips to pave the way to becoming an international player.1. Slowly but surely
It’s obvious no business becomes world famous from one day to the next. It takes a lot of research, planning and testing. Before jumping into the void, the best way of seeing how the market responds to your business is to start from the bottom: open a (small) branch office in another country, and see how clients respond. This will give you an idea of the potential success (or not) of the services you provide.
You should make sure beforehand that you are in a position to make the required investment, in case a negative outcome puts an end to your entrepreneurial dreams. 2. Take advantage of the digital world
Communication through online channels is a relatively low-cost tool, and --at this stage in the game—has reached pretty much every corner of the globe, so not making use of it to establish an international presence is a major mistake. Your brand visibility is largely determined by what you project on social media, so you should make sure foreign customers can easily find your company on the internet and get a good impression from it.3. Offer your franchise on the international market
If you want to create an international business but don’t have the resources to do so, offering a franchise of your business to foreign investors can be a good option
. Imagine your business is not showing the results you’d like in your own country and you want to know if it could work better in another: this kind of Alliance is the best way of trying your luck and maintaining control without putting your capital at risk.
Nevertheless, it’s always important to meet your investors in person and draw up a contract benefitting both parties. You can also attend Impulso Exterior
in November, a trade fair that provides information and know-how on foreign trade and on growth prospects in new markets.4. Don’t forget to diversify
Your own culture is probably very different from that of other countries such as China, Germany, Italy or Japan and there’s no need to transform your business into an imitation to please other cultures. Your best bet is to promote the services you already provide and diversify them in keeping with local demand.
One example is what Catalonia’s Business Competitiveness Agency (ACCIÓ)
does: promote investment and innovation through different platforms throughout Catalonia.
Don’t forget that the international market is very large and someone with a similar idea to yours is probably following the same path. That’s why offering supplementary services or products without losing sight of your original line of business will help you reach other markets while also offering other options.
Following the tips we’ve outlined will help you launch an intelligent internationalisation drive with an idea of the scenarios you may encounter.
Remember the World Trade Center Barcelona
is an ideal setting in which to generate and give impetus to your company’s international opportunities. WTCB’s policy of “connecting globally to thrive locally” seeks to facilitate the development of international trade among its members.