How do I break through into international markets?
‘Break through’ needs to be maintained and to do so a realisation of the requirements from entry to full maturity in the product/service introduction need to be thorough and all-embracing. Difficult to imagine an SME forging ahead in an international adventure without the necessary coaching and implementation of processes. Fundamentally we at Brain consider how to analyse the ‘go-go’ or ‘definitely no’ scenarios, how to learn to evaluate and apply the necessary resources for market expansion, how to source and monitor the assistance indispensable to your international drive.
Hand holding is not childish but a creative means to taking forward and consolidating your company’s mission and full realisation of capabilities
HAVE I GOT WHAT IT TAKES ?
The points below are some of the things you should already be asking yourself. If you have not asked them yet go back to Square One! Throughout the process you should be asking yourself if you really want to do this and what is your motivation foe doing so. It is too big a reality to go forward on a hunch
What is my product / service ?
Why am I in business?
Does my mission statement and core company philosophy provide for overseas expansion? Who am I? Am I an entrepreneur, an inventor, a facilitator, or ----?
The above preliminary question points are not intended to be derisory but a means of evaluating your understanding of your business and the point you are at.
The considerations are fundamental as to whether you should enquire of the foreign market place. Now we look at some more pertinent points
- Is the USP for my UK market applicable to any given overseas market?
- How do I sell in the UK?
- Why do people buy from me in the UK?
- Will people buy from me in the overseas market for the same reasons as they do in the UK?
- Who is giving me the information about the potential of a particular overseas market?
- Is my interest in an overseas market part of a rationalised development and growth strategy?
- Last throws of the dice rarely work and your analysis of the opportunity and appreciation of the dangers need to be very real and the reasons for the journey need be shared by the company at large.
- Market development generally and towards an overseas market in particular need to be communicated internally and not simply manifested externally.
Next we consider some of the financials involved:
Have I got a firm take on my business plan and financials?
Do I know where I am at and how I got there?
Do I have the necessary expertise within my company or through a trusted consultant to appraise my financials? Have I set aside part of the development budget for any overseas enquiry?
Am I aware of and confident of accessing financial support for my enquiry? Which human resource element have I assigned to this enquiry?
Am I confident of following through any enquiry in terms of commitment, resource and financial
WHAT IF THEY SAY YES ?
An enquiry is one thing. A positive expression of interest is another altogether. In this section we examine the capabilities needed to pursue a positive response to your enquiry. Am I able to decide ( or do I need to refer to partners or shareholders?)
- Do I appreciate what will be required in terms of production, support services, etc etc?
- How do I protect myself from bad business dealings?
- Have I the capability to live up to the market entry requirements
The points above are intended to serve as a reality check to appreciate what will be involved in taking a business relationship forward.
Will it be a sell out, a joint venture, a merger, a distribution agreement or licensing arrangement which results from my enquiry. Many of the points and their ramifications will not come as a surprise if they have been contemplated at the start of the process. It is this comprehension of the steps involved and the action plan to be developed which is a fundamental part of the Brain Trade Partner Service.
Initial meeting or meetings are focussed on putting the client’s house in order for it is only by appraising one’s actual state that the essential prerequisites can be established for taking the enquiry forward. The step by step or phase by phase approach is a simple but effective application of business logics which is all too often neglected.
Operating in this manner helps the consultant to accompany the client and provides a regular monitoring appraisal of ‘where one is at’ and as such the cost and the risk are reduced and the benefit and opportunity and chance for real market penetration enhanced