6 Tips for Successful International Expansion

May 15, 2016

2:00 pm

For most entrepreneurs, global expansion and global domination are at the top of the list.

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with multiple growth marketers and international growth experts who speak about some basic mistakes and mishaps that they have been through in the process of international expansion.

From my multiple conversations, I decided to put together a list of the 6 tips for successful international expansion.

Fail Fast

Before you spend thousands of dollars on a market or opportunity that you aren’t sure will work, it’s first important to make sure that you spend small amounts of money to test the market.

An easy way to do this is test different products and see how the market responds. Bottom line, you can change your products, but you can never change the market.

Pick Markets Wisely

Everyone jumps to markets like Silicon Valley because the press talks about the success of the market and potential for future growth. The reality of the situation is that Silicon Valley may not be the right place for your startup.

Why?

Because Silicon Valley is great for technology-tcenabled businesses. If you are starting a fashion line, picking a market such as New York is a smarter decision. 

Do One Thing at a Time

With limited resources and opportunities to succeed, it doesn’t make sense spending the 12 hours a day you work doing 5 different activities.

Instead, the most successful marketers and businessmen spend their time doing one thing extremely well instead of multiple things decently well.

Pick Partners

Starting a business is hard. It requires expertise and understanding of accounting, finance, marketing, sales, business development, product, and the list goes on and on.

Most people do not have expertise in all of those areas of the business, and need to have someone to help balance other areas of the business.

Similarly, if you are launching in a new country, it becomes very difficult to simply launch without having a clear partner who can help navigate aspects of the business for the market you aren’t familiar with such as legal regulations.

Optimize for SEO

SEO is an important aspect of your business to increase the amount of leads that are coming to your business, but increase the amount of search volume that is coming to your website.

A tip for making sure you optimize for SEO in your new country of expansion is to make sure that your website is translated in the language of the new country you are launching in. For example, if you are launching in France, having your homepage translate to French will give you a much higher ranking and SEO in France than a page in English. 

Build for the Future

It’s very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of startup life and do things that many would claim to be illegal.

For example, if you expand into a new country it is very easy to get caught up with bribing officials, but realize that your company should be building for the next 10 years, not just the next 3 months.

Your brand depends on the foundation that you build for it, not just how much more revenue you will get in the short term.

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AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.

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