How to Make Your Next Move In the Global Game

Today, companies are realizing that marketing their brand in the United States and selling their products are challenges. Due to corporate downsizing or closing businesses, companies are faced with fiercer competition and smaller customer segments, as well as changing consumer buying behaviors caused by an unstable economy.

Companies of all sizes and in many industries find that a global strategy is essential to maintaining their competitive edge and ensuring their survival.

Today, becoming a global player has become even more important. Doing it right ensures a smooth transition into new markets. Being fully prepared to “go global” is also essential for l”long-term success.

Businesses today must be willing to spend the time necessary to strategize, test, and refine their global game plans.

We hear this phrase too often: “I have a global presence.” Translations of communication materials are done to reach out to international audiences.

To get a head start, it is important to understand how your employees and internal operations will work and manage the global business model.

Why Globalize?

  • Expanding into new markets can generate new revenue streams
  • New distribution channels
  • Market share
  • Introduce new products and services to new markets and increase brand awareness.
  • Follow the needs and requirements of your market!
  • Create a brand that is a global player to give your business a competitive edge.

What are the best questions to ask to ensure that we are ready and capable of ” going global” at this point?” You may ask, “What are the right questions to ask to be sure we’re prepared and capable of ” going global?”

Create a pilot program to focus on one market and use what you have learned from previous market expansion strategies to enhance and strengthen your new market entry. This approach will help your staff to adjust gradually to their new roles in the global market.

Here are a few questions that will help you determine whether or not your company is ready to enter the international market and what it takes to do so.

  1. Are the leaders of the company committed to globalization?
  2. Who should participate in our global strategy sessions and game plan? What are each person’s specific roles and responsibilities?
  3. Do we have any research on the global market to see if there is a need for our product? How are we similar and different from our competitors in each market? Do we need to restructure or rebuild our product/service offering to include certain features and options?
  4. What are our expectations for increases in operating costs? Is the market revenue likely to support this increase?
  5. Is our enterprise system capable of supporting multiple languages and currencies?
  6. Should we partner with local businesses or acquire foreign companies to support our expansion strategy? Should we create our operation?
  7. Which operations should be carried out locally and which should not?
  8. How will we integrate new markets into our marketing and communication strategy and existing operations and processes?
  9. Do we need to hire additional staff for language expertise, market knowledge, cultural and geographic understanding, legal assistance, etc? This stuff should be localized to the regions where we operate. Should we outsource to companies that offer services in our key markets, such as multilingual call centers for customer service or warehouses to fulfill and ship orders?
  10. How can we get the whole organization excited about our global game plan once it is completed? What marketing and communications efforts should we concentrate on to launch our corporate international mission and communicate it to our customers and business partners? Should we focus locally and globally?

Ask yourself the following questions if your organization is a dot-com or if you are interested in “localizing” its website”presence i”in  order to support efforts into new markets:

  1. Do the markets that we target have Web connectivity?
  2. Before “building our online existence,” have we thoroughly researched our target market, its local customer, and their buying habits? Are we able to understand our audience, their buying habits, payment methods, the information they require to make a sale, and how they would like to be presented?
  3. Do we have a localized site that is compatible with the cultural preferences of our target market? Do our corporate image and message (logo) make sense to the target market? Are our corporate colors and content offensive to any culture?
  4. Who will be responsible for the site’s content, including sites, accuracy, messaging,g and so on? Were we able to find a partner who could help us translate our entire Web content? Do they have translators who are native speakers in the country? What part of the website and its content is to be translated? What should be translated? Should it be verbatim or rewritten to communicate better with our target audience in the local language?
  5. Who will be responsible for the daily challenges of site performance, IT, and other aspects??
  6. What will be the criteria used to determine our global expansion’s success (Retuexpansion’stment)?
  7. Is our ecommerce site compatible with the local currency/conversion rate, payment methods, and taxation, tariffs, and VATs? Does it support language, logistics, supply-chain fulfillment, customer service, support, distribution channels, or legal practices? Does our e-commerce site have the technology to deal with multilingual emails, accounting, payment, and distribution needs, etc.?
  8. Should we form partnerships with specific banks to manage our online transactions or with a “payment center” that has”relationships “with banks in certain markets?
  9. Have we identified a partner or partners who are familiar with global shipping and handling needs based on the warehouses that we operate and the markets to which they ship?

Beware of the “must-build” mentality. ItI” isimportantt for businesses to expand into new markets or customer segments, but it’s not necessary. Expanding your company, ask questions, and question your current business practices and strategies.

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