5 resources that will make your international expansion easier
When expanding internationally, there are a lot of practical insights, tools, and strategies that you can make good use of. In this article, we will share with you 5 resources that will help you with the process. Furthermore, these will also make your life easier and make you get a better overview of some important aspects you should keep in mind throughout your expansion journey.
1. Local networks during your international expansion
To begin with, desk research is indeed very important in order to see if the market you want to expand in is the proper one. Even though, sometimes you should get in touch with market experts. These can give you more relevant information and deeper insights about a country compared to months of doing research.
This is because these people have a daily practical experience there. Therefore, the information that they possess is definitely valuable and accurate. They very likely have already experienced the issues you might be going through right now.
At some point, you should start validating things by talking with people. Therefore, we will provide you with a list of local networks to help you get in touch with people from your market.
A) Associations within your niche
Two examples of these in The Netherlands are Holland FinTech Association and HSD (The Hague Security Delta), a cybersecurity association. All the countries have, of course, different ones.
Usually, these associations have the role of putting different players from a specific industry together. They are talking to companies and startups about developing solutions and with corporates to understand what they need. Also, they are in touch with the government in order to understand regulations or to see if they want to get involved in a segment.
These associations are the central player within the network. Therefore, it is very important to start getting in touch with them and receiving insights. They organize events, know people, and bring them together. Depending on the organization, you could also become a member and get you even more benefits.
B) Chambers of commerce
The reason why they are there is, of course, for commerce. Similarly, with the associations, they tend to support companies from your country at a broader level. For example, you have a Dutch chamber of commerce in Germany, Brazil, or Spain. They have the goal to support more companies from Spain, for instance, to do business with The Netherlands and vice versa. Furthermore, they also have a very good network and contact with people that can support you.
They also have a commercial attachment or a commercial sector to support your organization. For example, the Brazilian embassy can put you in touch with people that want to do business in The Netherlands. Like this, knowledge can be exchanged, and certain aspects can be seen from different points of view.
2. Accelerator programs
A strategy that is also useful for validation is participating in accelerator programs. This is, although, not sustainable in the long run, but it can support you when starting to understand the market’s interests.
This is a very interesting way in which you can tackle a new market, especially if you are in the early stages of an international expansion. Through accelerator programs, you can get some cash in the company, which is very important in the beginning. Besides, you also get experience, knowledge, and networks.
You might understand that in the beginning, developing the product that you want in your own country might not be the case. Having the support of an accelerating program (or even an incubator or investor) is very efficient in helping you get into this new market. This is because you are probably very likely to not know anyone there.
Therefore, they can open a network for you, give you insights, and, again, even put some cash in the company.
3. Business missions during your international expansion
This is an interesting concept that also we, uGlobally, organize quite a lot. The business mission concept means that we get a group of entrepreneurs who want to tackle one specific market and bring all of them together for a week in that country to show them around. During the week, we:
- Put them in touch with the governments and potential partners
- Show them what it is like to do business in that country
- Bring entrepreneurs to share their experiences and failures
- Bring foreign entrepreneurs to share the shock that they had while doing business in that country
- Organize one-to-one sessions with mentors and potential partners to open the network for you
- Organize workshops to set up your strategy
- Organize individual sessions with market experts
We do all of these so that you can already go there and have a base to start in your international expansion. It is also a very nice way to understand whether the market is good for you or not and if you should maybe focus somewhere else.
4. Independent salesperson to help you in your international expansion
If you are more into the B2B sector and you need a sales approach, you can also hire independent salespersons. The platform UPinSales gives you the option to hire freelancers to sell your product on a commission basis.
On the platform, you can get in contact with them and let them know that, for example, you need someone in France who sells to banks. All you have to do is post a job. They will see it and, according to that, tell you if they can sell your product to the network that they already have.
Therefore, you don’t need to employ people (which is less risky) and you can start collecting some leads. This one is just an example of someone from our customers that found a salesperson. In this case, they found someone who had 10 years of experience with selling to banks.
They already know people in the segment. Consequently, it’s easier to get in touch with potential customers than you trying to go there as a newcomer.
5. Global talent (AIESEC)
If you are interested in or if you want to tackle a specific country, why not hire an intern from there? AIESEC is one of the best ways to do that. For those who don’t know, AIESEC is a student organization that promotes global experiences.
They have two programs that are very interesting. The first one is ‘Global talent’, which is based on hiring people who want to have experience working for an international company. For example, if you are looking into the Colombian market, you can hire someone from Colombia.
These people really want to have a global experience and it is up to you who you want to hire. Usually, you have to pay for their traveling expenses and rent, which is definitely cheaper than having an employee. This is the most common but, of course, you could pay them more or find arrangements from which both of you will benefit.
Furthermore, it has a very nice impact on the culture of the company throughout an international expansion. This is because you bring someone from that country to work with you on a daily basis, bringing the culture from that place. This is indeed very important.
The second program that they have is ‘The Global Entrepreneur’. Mainly, the people that are participating want to develop their company and they are going somewhere else to work for you. They wish to have their own company.
Therefore, if you want to have this entrepreneurial mindset within your company it is also very helpful. You can see it as a new project, where they work as a new company.
For more resources that can help you with your global expansion, register for free on our website!