Must Dos Before Eyeing the Global Market

So you set up a business. You decided to spread awareness and created a website. Things are going great. Now you decide to go global. You study the overseas market, and you see that it is a safe investment. You launch yourself in a larger-than-life fashion. But you note that the overwhelming response that you were expecting is nowhere close to being visible.

Sound familiar?

Are you wondering where you are going wrong? I can hazard a guess. Have you given a second thought to the fact that your website that brought in a lot of traffic in your homeland might just sound like gibberish to the other countries because they simply can’t speak English? Studies show that only 27% of the people who shop online speak English. You are basically losing out on a lot of customers just because they don’t understand what you are trying to sell.

Now we are not asking you to hire somebody who can speak the native language of the country you are targeting and get the whole website written in that language. And we most certainly advise against using auto-translate tools that are available online. Sure, that is what you will eventually end up doing but it is up to you to make sure that the quality of the content on the site is top-class. Your aim is not only to make sure that customers buy from you. It is also to ensure that they come back again. For that you need to focus on a few pointers. Allow us to help you with them.

Your first task as someone eyeing the global market is to know your customers. Do your homework. Know what drives them or holds them back, what makes them generous or stingy, their yearly holiday schedule, their culture, and a good amount of their language to know when somebody is swearing at you. Going global is just not about setting up warehouses all over the world.

Take that well deserved vacation and visit the country that you are looking at for expansion. This will help you observe and understand the people and their culture first hand. Nothing promotes a brand more than its powerful executive making a joke out of himself/herself by trying to fit into a foreign culture. Trust us, most natives find it very endearing. Through this trip you can also hire some local professionals to help you set up shop. It pays to know your partners/ employees well.

Drill a wall post opposite to your desk that says ‘Slang is Bad’. As common as it is, it reflects badly on your company if it is used in a professional scenario. If you cannot maintain a professional image, at least do not attempt a guttural one.

Just because you are a foreigner, do not expect customers to come flocking to your store. Do your homework. Research your market and check out which competitor will keep you up at night. It is better to know who your threats are. This also helps when you want to set up a new line of products that your competition is not providing.

Remember how pleased and helpful the native was when you went on that exotic trip and you tried to buy something at that store and you made an effort to speak her language? Yes, that works when you are expanding business as well. You need not learn to be fluent at it before plunging in. it is sufficient if you can read the contracts and make sense of it. You can pick it up at leisure later on too.

You are obviously outside your comfort zone when you are in a different country with people speaking a language that has no connection to yours whatsoever. Find someone you can trust first and then partner with to help sell your products. It is always helpful to have a native face to represent your product in a native land. And remember, start small. Don’t invest your retirement into it all at once. Things can go wrong in more ways than you can expect.

Also, most importantly, be aware of the market setting in the country. See if the economy will remain stable. If it is and you are ready, move fast. Establish your ground when it is safe. There is no point building a mansion on quick sand.

Internet shopping is gaining more popularity since the recession. People see a lot of advantages in buying online. They are assured that they will get what they want at a discount. The only hurdle is to set up trust. Once you pass that, we are sure you will soar the blue skies. Good Luck!

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