Are you participating in the global marketplace? If not, here are ten ways to position your business for global success.
1. Export into new geographical markets. This is the simplest and quickest strategy to grow your business. It requires minimal investment and little planning of market development. Exporting is a common growth tactic for mature international companies as well as smaller companies. This market entry strategy contributes to the revenue stream and profitability of an increasing number of enterprises.
2. Tap and penetrate emerging markets. Countries such as China, India and Indonesia offer tremendous growth opportunities for companies of all sizes. Crack open these lucrative markets to increase revenues and boost profit margins.
3. Source new products that complement existing ones and offer them as a new, specially priced package deal. This should be a snap by surfing GlobalTrade.net, ThomasNet.com, Alibaba.com and GlobalSources.com, which provide a wealth of information on potential manufacturers.
4. Reduce dependence on local markets. Protect your company against the risk of decline in domestic sales by exporting, using the Internet, licensing or franchising your industrial products. If your product is seasonal (toys), spread the selling of those toys to overseas markets to offset domestic decline at certain times in the year. Instead of generating the bulk of your revenues and profits at the end of a year in North America, focus on generating comparable sales in the first quarter of a year in other parts of the world.
5. Develop new applications for existing products that can be offered to new buyers. Here's where a few months of actually living in a foreign country really pays off. It enables you to learn firsthand how the locals do things and what they need to do them better. If you sell jewelry for children, for example, perhaps you can adapt the jewelry to become pet accessories in other countries.
6. Cross fertilize your marketing efforts through a variety of industries. For a crystal chandelier cleaner, market coverage should pollinate over into the independent lighting shops, D.I.Y. stores with lighting divisions, computer stores (monitor cleaning) and soap and detergent industries to reach new and appropriate buyers and to broaden the scope of your business activities.
7. Take the market to your buyers. If you can't beat or woo them, join them where they are located by setting up shop locally in the country where you wish to do business. Are you making chocolates in bulk and trying to sell them in a country without retail outlets? Consider being the first to establish a retail shop in a country that is eager for exotic chocolates.
8. Offer new services that complement your industrial products in order to boost profits. This segment of marketing involves all countries at every level of development; even the least-developed countries are seeking computer technology (China and India, for example) and sophisticated data banks to aid them in advancing their economics.
9. Establish a strategic global alliance (SGA). An SGA is a business relationship established by two or more companies to cooperate out of mutual need and to share risk in achieving a common objective. This strategy works well for market-entry or to shore up existing weaknesses and increase competitive strengths.
10. Market your business aggressively online via social media platforms (for example, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn) and in the language your buyers understand. This shows your level of commitment to a worldwide audience.
By practicing even some of these ways to take your business global, you'll be well on your way to engaging deeply in local markets around the world, which can only lead to greater success for your business in the new year.Photo courtesy: stock.xchng