Running a startup? These tips will help you expand your business globally
Technology is changing the world very fast and making regions interconnected like never before.
Technology is changing the world very fast and making regions interconnected like never before. Even large conglomerates around the world are rapidly looking to extend their outreach and expand to different geographies, smaller firms can also expand their businesses beyond the boundaries of the country. In fact, startups and emerging businesses are looking to ride on this tremendous growth opportunity and scale up their businesses further. While it is much easier to scale up the business in the overseas markets for big corporations, emerging companies can also expand with a well planned out strategy, says Liina Kadari, Head of Business Development, e-Residency programme, Republic of Estonia.
Kadari shares some of the key tips for young entrepreneurs, who are looking to go global, with Zee Business Online:
Know the country
Kadari says it is of utmost importance to know the country thoroughly where you are planning to expand. Knowing its people, their culture, political and business environment and the legal and taxation structure among others is very essential. The entire strategy and plan can go haywire if these details are not in place. Products or services which are a misfit to the culture wouldn’t work well. Similarly if a country is going through a recession, it might not be the perfect time to make an entry into its market.
Sharing an example, Kadari said Neville Isdell, former chief executive of Coca-Cola, took a tour of India shortly after he took charge as CEO, which made him realize the tremendous potential of launching Coca Cola especially to counter the scorching summers.
Check your product readiness
Before taking your product to the international markets, it is important to check if it is ready for such a transition. Many products, in their current form might not be exportable and it might need some minor tweaking. Those innovations need to be made in order to ensure that the product is ready for the big shift, said Kadari.
Have a business plan in place
According to Kadari, before making a foray into any country it is vital to have a robust business plan ready. In order to prepare the plan, one must do a thorough due diligence of the market, find out the existing competitions, the size of the market, the purchasing power of the customers, etc. These details will help to create a business strategy and plan and thus the execution of the launch can be made a lot better.
It makes perfect sense to take help from local partners as they would have a much better understanding of the market and the consumers. In many countries, there are government bodies or agencies which can help you with the required intelligence and in your expansion plan. Talking about Republic of Estonia's e-Residency programme, Kadari said "it offers individual access to a government-issued digital identity. This helps to open a global European Union (EU) company fully online while working from anywhere in the world. It makes it easy to expand to the EU market and reap benefits of huge demands from 500 million population of the continent."
Ensure zero hindrance cross-border payments
Kadari said that global expansion would necessitate into making and receiving payments in multiple currencies. In order to ensure that this process is smooth and does not cause any obstacle in the business operations, it is advisable to on-board the right bank which facilitates easy cross-border payments.