The time when big companies were the only ones with the possibility of developing their business globally is long gone. Today, in the era of fast Internet and Social Media, anyone can think big and start a beautiful business on international markets.
If you analyze the numbers, the USA only represents about 27% of the world’s consumer market (source: Wikipedia). So, it’s absolutely normal to want to reach foreign markets where your products may be appreciated. Still, before actually going across borders and starting your exciting journey as a businessman/businesswoman, there are a few important steps to take. One of these is performing a market research in the countries/areas you are interested in expanding to.
An international market research will provide important data, like the type and level of demand, the price point, the level of your competition, and if your product is competitive enough to survive in that market. Also, such a research will give you pretty good insight on the level of economy in the area and if there are other products you could promote.
How to identify the most promising markets?
Identifying the correct countries to apply the market research is the first step to a job well done. But how do you do that?
Well, you could start by taking a peek at your competitors who already have developed internationally. Where are they going? Starting with the countries where most of your competitors export their products to, grow your strategy and include reports and governmental data. Actually, everything is about having the correct data and starting slow.
For example, if you’re residing in the USA, you could start with neighbors like Canada or Mexico. These countries implement the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA and it will be easier to start with them.
How to find the best people for the job?
Now that you’ve identified the most promising international markets, it’s time to actually do the market research. There are two ways to get things rolling: you either hire a specialized company or you do your own. Both are effective, but when you do your own, you can personalize the research and you’ll get in direct contact with native people.
This also means that you will have to hire bilingual people who live in the target country and have powerful skills in performing market research studies. This may be difficult to do on your own, but fortunately, there are specialized companies that can find you the right people, with the right set of skills.
Finding the right people in this situation is crucial for your business’s success on this market, so you shouldn’t ignore this aspect. Bilingual employees (even temporary) with solid knowledge of modern market research methods are one of your most valuable resources at this point.
Where to go next?
Once the market research is completed, all you have to do is decide which countries are the best to start with. So, how do you decide this?
Well, there are many things to consider, but the most logical move would be to start with the country that has the most marketing potential and doesn’t pose difficulties for foreign businesses. Once this is settled, it is time to start thinking about brand advertisement and possibilities to develop your products furthermore. An easy international market, that supports foreign investors, is a great way to start your international business adventure.