You’ve got an awesome website. A phenomenal product. Loyal customers. A growing domestic business.
The next major question you are likely to ask yourself is: when should I start selling globally?
The allure of a global market is simple – for businesses successfully cornering a domestic market, expanding beyond their borders opens up a nearly unlimited supply of new customers, capital and talent. In addition to increasing revenue, global markets can extend the lifespan of existing products and reduce dependence on a single market. This reduction in dependence is particularly important when it comes to insulating from the risk of localized adverse economic conditions.
So, given how easy it easy to articulate the benefits of going global, why doesn’t (or shouldn’t) everyone do it? The short answer – it’s complicated. From different cultural norms to foreign regulations, going global can get complex fast. That’s not to mention the costs associated with an increase in supply chain complexity and new employees. Expanding globally takes a sense of focus and purpose that not every company is interested in or capable of.
Perhaps the first and most important question to ask yourself as a store owner is this: am I really ready to take the plunge into a running a global business? Here are some factors to consider:
Once you’ve determined that you have potential international customers, a business capable of supporting global business complexity, and a shipping/logistics model capable of handling overseas orders, you’re ready to start putting together your strategy for going global. Be prepared for a rocky road – it’s not easy to take a business you know well into new waters. That said, with enough research and a solid plan, it’s the best way to ensure diversified growth into the future.
Check out part II in this series for advice on forming your global strategy and tips for making your international rollout a smooth one!