The moment you begin to think, "Am I ready to go global?" is a very exciting time! But let's take off our dreaming hats for just a second and take a step back.
How do you know that your business does indeed have the potential to go global? Have you made time to analyse your current position? Do you have the resources? Is there a growing demand for what you offer?
You'll need a strategy to be certain that you can compete at an international level and sustain your export over the long term. To help you along your way, we have created a quick yet comprehensive checklist so you can determine whether or not you're ready. And if you're not, don't be dissuaded! Completing this checklist will guide you on what points you need to work on next.
Mo Works' Export Ready Checklist for Businesses
1. Commitment. Commitment. Commitment.
Do you (and your team) have the commitment needed to partake at an international level? Without the commitment required, your business will fail before it even begins.
2. Analyse Your Business
Check to see if your operating structures and processes are suitable for moving onto the global stage. Know your strengths and weaknesses and adjust your business model to optimise your capabilities in the current market before considering how to perform on an international stage. Ask yourself, "Will I be able to manage my current local business while tapping into a whole new market?"
3. Create Your Export Business Model
Now that you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your business in the domestic market, and are assured of your team's commitment, you should develop a new model for expansion that will sustain itself over the long haul. Make an effort to discover the new market and culture you are going to—either engage with a professional consultancy service such as Hatch Quarter or start by asking yourself the following questions:
Is the culture ready for your product or service?
If no, what needs to be changed in order to be accepted in the new market?
Is your company going to be profitable? Don't forget to consider different costs in salaries and expenditures.
Have you established a network and community over there?
Have you considered regulations?
Remember, what works perfectly for your local market may not work at all for the international market.
4. Assemble Your Resources
What resources (human, material, financial and intellectual) will you need to make your business successful internationally? Consider the new resources you will need to make your export a reality and whether it will be financially viable or beneficial for your company to pursue global expansion.
5. Know Your Competitors
Any knowledge you can gather about your competitors on an international scale will inform your place in the market. Knowing your competitors' strengths and weaknesses is an asset to any export attempt.
6. Know Your Customers
Knowing your new customers is very important and the best way to do it is by travelling there and meeting them yourself. Ask people on ground if they would like your product or service. Begin to build genuine relationships and create potential partnerships.
7. Be Realistic—Know the Risks
Expanding into a new market poses many risks for your company (political, legal and tax-related) and your product or service. It is important that you research trade in this market thoroughly. You may want to consider taking out extra protection such as insurance and intellectual property (IP) rights. There is no better way than asking local people from the new market about how their businesses operate and how effectively government and tax bodies interact with their businesses. Also, you need to understand the laws that govern your new market to avoid the risk of accidentally breaching any legal and regulatory standards in the destination country and how they are applied e.g. the time required to have your documents processed.
8. Check the Numbers
Consider the logistics and the costs. Will the expansion be profitable? Once all of the additional expenses are considered (e.g. the extra resources, freight and tariffs) you can determine if your product or service is competitive enough for the new market and adjust your business model to increase your likelihood of success. Some businesses suit the global model and can do significantly better in a new market, while others are more suited to local success and should focus on expanding in this market.
9. Get the right support
It is a no brainer to ask for help and advice before going global. There are plenty of service providers who can help along the way, from researching to on ground support. Check government or local grants (such as Australia's fantastic export market development grant) and contact the local representatives or the chamber of commerce from the proposed country. Visit Austrade for some great support and insights.
10.Tell the World
Be sure to increase your visibility in the market now that you have successfully taken your business onto the global stage! While people might know you back home, it's doubtful an individual on the opposite side of the world has heard of you. Invest in public relations and let the news spread.
Check, check, check?! Getting a clear picture of your ability to tackle the market opportunity is the first step to moving forward with your expansion plan. We wish you the best of luck on your journey ahead.
At Mo Works Creative Agency, we have full-stack in house capabilities across design, development, marketing and community management. You can trust Mo Works to fuel your company's success in Australia and beyond.
To find out more about Mo Works' services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org