Is global expansion on your next business meeting agenda? Any business aiming for success will consider entering the global market at some point. This is because expanding beyond your immediate location can help increase sales and credibility. But how do you make such a big decision and ensure it doesn’t fail? Here are some best practices and tips to consider when going global.
11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets
Considering global expansion for any business can seem like a daunting task. However, there are plenty of tools and resources available to make this transition as smooth as possible. Here we outline best practices to consider when expanding internationally. These practices are divided into different stages:
Stage A: Planning
The first step to any business’s global expansion strategy is thorough planning. This includes choosing which markets or areas to target and how to go about targeting them.
1. Which Markets to Target
Conduct market research and gather data and intelligence that can help you determine which regions are prime for your business. Create new buyer personas and study different demographics. Research customer behavior, preferences, patterns, and local trends. Consider: what is the demand for your product and purchasing power of your buyer persona?
2. How to Target New Markets
You can start small by test-selling specific products or services in these markets to see how they respond. You may even consider using research and small business tools made available by the governments in those areas.
3. How to Offer Sales and Support in These Markets
Open lines of communication between your main office and the new areas you want to target. Common options include contact forms, live chat on the website, social media accounts, and local phone numbers. This way, you can sell and provide support to entities located in these new markets.
4. International Payment Methods
An important aspect of global expansion is to make processes easy for customers and clients in different states and countries. One of these processes includes setting up international payment methods. In order to decide which payment methods are useful, you will need to research the local buyers’ preferred methods. Additionally, ensure that this payment method has a reputation for security and is credible.
Stage B: Presence
Now, once you’ve decided which markets to enter, the next step in global expansion is creating and maintaining a local presence in these markets.
5. Global Marketing with Partnerships
Start by establishing connections and partnerships with local experts and business contacts. A local partner that has access to the right network of customers, employees, and contacts will prove beneficial. This way, you can quickly enter the market, access the right audience, and create your local presence. You may also consider starting on existing online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, etc. You can test the demand and make the necessary changes before you start selling with full force.
6. International SEO
Next, you want to optimize your online presence with international SEO strategies. International SEO is like geo-targeting where you’re optimizing your website for different countries and languages. It helps search engines identify the countries you want to target. Then it provides the tools to support your marketing efforts. For example, it may offer different languages you may use or show users local results before international results, etc.
7. Global Sales Development
Now it’s time to start making calls. Once you’ve got your partnerships set up and your website optimized for different markets, the next step is to increase brand visibility and awareness in these local markets. To do so, you can use phone sales. A business phone service can support your sales development strategy by letting you call your local, long-distance, and international customers. Furthermore, you can buy international SIP trunks in order to display a local phone number instead of a number they don’t recognize. This way, you can establish connections virtually while taking your time with opening a field office.
Stage C: Follow-Through
Once you’ve got your markets ready and have partnerships and communications set-up, the next step in global expansion is to start making sales and offering customer support. There are a few different ways you can do this. The best way is to get virtual phone numbers and talk to your business contacts over the phone. Here are the most important tools to consider.
8. International Toll Free Service
An international toll free number is a toll free number for different countries. In other words, each country has designated toll free numbers that customers from within this country can call for free. Global Call Forwarding is the most trusted provider of international toll free numbers. Your business can get international toll free numbers for each country that you want to do business in.
9. 24/7 Customer Support
Another important global expansion best practice is to offer 24/7 customer support on different channels. This includes phone, email, live chat, SMS, trouble tickets, and more. You can offer after-hours service by developing an efficient automated self-service system that resolves common queries. Most commonly, businesses will facilitate global customer support using ITFS. Customer support is often handled by workers in remote locations and different time zones.
9. Regional Offices and Infrastructure
Ultimately after reaching global revenue targets, your business will need to open regional offices and colocation centers. Regional offices will host local staff in each region. In addition, your critical infrastructure will be hosted at colocation centers. You can find co-working spaces and regional data centers by doing a quick search online.
10. Local Phone Numbers
Local numbers have specific area codes that distinguish them from other areas. Local calls are charged local rates instead of long-distance rates. This is why businesses choose to get a local business number so local customers can contact them without any hesitation. When it comes to driving international growth in 2020, convenience is more important than ever. Your business should aim to provide a convenient experience as part of your follow-through.
11. Universal Freephone Numbers
A UIFN is a single, universal toll free number accessible from 45 different countries. However, this list of countries is predetermined and cannot be altered. If most of the countries you want to do business with fall under this list, then you search for a UIFN to streamline your inbound calls.
Start By Setting Up International Communications
We at Global Call Forwarding can set you up with local, international, and toll free numbers to get your international communication taken care of. Start by signing up for a new business number or porting your existing number on our homepage. For more information, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.