Expanding internationally in today’s globally interconnected world is far easier than it used to be, but it’s not a fit for every organization. There are many obvious things to consider (market analysis, regulatory issues) and many obscure considerations (the political climate of the new country) to keep in mind. But planned correctly, your business can find international success.

Here are some of the challenges and questions your company and its leadership should prepare for before going global.

Pick your markets carefully. If you are newer to the global game, look for markets that are similar to yours. Those that differ least from the U.S. will be the easiest to export to and do business with. Prioritize lower trade barriers, proximity, currency and cultural similarities. Canada ticks many of these boxes. Beyond that, the complexities start to increase. A more experienced company can tackle markets that are higher on the degree of difficulty curve as that curve bends upward from “developed” to “developing” to “emerging” to “frontier” markets.

Look before you leap. Do careful market and regulatory due diligence to answer these questions:

  • Will your product sell to local customers? Investing in focus groups and a market segment analysis will narrow the risk of getting it wrong.
  • Is your product price-competitive? Look not only at locally produced competition but at imports from China and elsewhere.
  • Do you have brand recognition or must you build it? If brand recognition is important to your product’s sales, it will take money and time to build it, and that should be factored into your cost budget and sales growth forecasts.
  • Are the regulatory hurdles manageable? Ensure that you comply with applicable government- and industry-specific regulations, and get the necessary approvals, certifications, and licenses. Some level of localization should be expected, to include labeling and language adaptation for your brand, packaging, and Read More Here