I often meet clients interested to develop a presence in several foreign markets and to go global. It is a wonderful idea to start expanding globally, particularly when the right use of Internet and/or information technologies make this far easier than ever before.
Going global could sound exciting but it is indeed an amazing idea. Globalising your business could bring you a faster growth, access to more affordable and cheap raw materials, a vastly bigger demand as accessing to bigger markets, to diversify your industry, and to refrain from putting all your eggs in the same basket.
Conversely, they are many risks to take and measure before embarking on new territory. The fist thing I always say to my client is ‘ never assume’.
Every territory has a specific culture, between your own culture and another culture there are gaps and every culture their own ‘dimensions’, that frame the deep understanding of their customs, tacit rules, manners and methods as well as some others like:
- The equality of individuals, which is expresses by the attitude of members of that culture towards these inequalities.
- Individualism, which is described as the people´s self-image definition in terms of “I” or “We”; and many other facts that will draw a more clear idea and help you better tailor your concept for the aimed market.
- The uncertainty avoidance expressed by the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity.
- The long-term orientation, interpreted as dealing with society’s search for virtue.
There are also a few more risks to take before deciding going global. To name just a few of the normal situations you can face are:
- Increasing of your starting costs,
- Meeting foreign regulations and standards,
- Dealing with ineffective methods of payment and currency fluctuation,
- Failing to understand the market norms and customs,
Finally, I would suggest that before penetrating a foreign market, bear in mind that your domestic marketing strategies would need to be partially or completely re-adjusted with some of the following actions:
- Developing a new brand image,
- Merging local brands,
- Applying high level of execution management,
- Undertaking a comprehensive HR plan adjusted to the country law and customs,
- Matching your communicational strategies with the target country background,
- Training your relocated personnel to approach the local people accordingly.