Strategy

Where to start your internationalization strategy

Where To Start Your Internationalization Strategy

As in every business model, your goal of becoming an exporter should be based on a roadmap that navigates you to go global step by step. To do this, you’ll firstly need an honest self assessment of your organization.

We can only talk about a viable strategy that brings the expected results when your roadmap is designed to align with your goals, capabilities and resources. These are basically 3 major pillars of a solid strategy.

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How to sell overseas markets

So, So You Think You Can Sell

Of the conversations I’ve had with smes about failing to go global, I hear these 3 arguments most commonly:

  1. We have been trying to export our products for long, but we couldn’t even do one. Our rival who opened last year has already started selling to 2 countries. Moreover, our product is better and cheaper. 
  2. While I can’t sell to the companies in the neighboring country, a lot of others from overseas can. I don’t understand how.
  3. (This one is my favourite) — I produce my product at my factory, but this broker [name] buys from me and exports to lots of countries.
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Market Entry Strategies
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5 Effective Market Entry Strategies Alternative To Direct Exporting

Most exporters have more than one target market for their products as people’s buying and consuming behaviors are identical. A Mexican, Turk, German, Indian and Indonesian eats bread, drives a car, watches TV, wears clothes etc. Besides basic needs, they differentiate in terms of geographical, cultural and economic factors. While one likes brown bread, the other likes pita; one likes a hybrid automobile, the other likes a pick-up.

Looking at the diversities of end-user consumption, the characteristics of local businesses are shaped by the influence of their own culture. After all, they are the people living in the same community.

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target market research
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How To Do A Bulletproof Target Market Research For Exporting

The importance of SMEs in international trade is incontrovertible and every government desires their small businesses to become a global company. However, due to several reasons they have difficulty in retaining their presence in the international arena. It’s mostly because they skip developing their long haul internationalization strategy which requires a well conceived target market research and planning. Rather, they tend to just take the plunge and reach their potential customers unaware of the market entry conditions.

Without knowing where to export profitably, which markets are growing and which ones are shrinking, it’s like a boat sailing in the ocean without course; you never know where you’re going. So, the best way to start exporting is making a bulletproof target market research at the outset and identify where and how to enter a given market.

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How To Deal With The Discount Requests

You may say that one of the best ways keeping the customer from going to a competitor is answering to the discount requests. This is quite understandable. However, do you think it’s going to be a one-time-thing? Will the future orders’ price reduction be out of the question? Or do you believe that you can keep them at discounted prices?

I had done this in the early years of my career. Say the name is Claire. We had started with Claire well. First orders were perfect business; no request for anything. About a year later, I myself offered a reduction of that order as a gesture. Unfortunately I was unaware that I triggered sth bad for the future.  As you can tell, she accepted it right away with appreciation.

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SWOT Analysis
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What is SWOT Analysis?

SWOT analysis, acronym of “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats”, is a strategic planning tool that allows you to dig deeper in terms of understanding the current situation of your business and taking future steps more firmly and accurately.

How closely are you dealing with the growth of your brand? Is your ego bigger than your brand, or do you have an objective point of view? Or has your brand turned to the Sisyphus’s boulder? Do you keep carrying the boulder uphill and watch it roll down in the end? Maybe it’s time to take SWOT analysis seriously and implement it into your strategy.

Why is SWOT Analysis necessary for your business?

SWOT analysis forces you to be brutally honest about your current position, capability, potential, brand awareness, business strategy and goals. With its easy adaptability, SWOT analysis can be carried out separately for both your business and your brand or product, as long as they match your overall brand and business strategy.

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