Revenue Growth Tips – Could be time to build a Global Business

Have been holding back from taking the plunge to going global? It’s understandable, as it requires a lot of hard work and investment to be successful. Not for the faint of heart. However, it may open up a key area of growth, one where you need not fight over ever smaller small gains in market share domestically. To be successful, you need to invest upfront in market research to gain knowledge of which countries have businesses and consumers with cash, and hold the best opportunity for your products and services. Some efforts I think you should be doing to ramp up your own global business.

1. Set stretch goals – Aim to generate 20-30%, up to 50% of revenue outside North America within three to five years. Why such a big number? If you don’t set a stretch goal, it may not get the attention it deserves and it will become just another project. Stretch goals can generate a level of energy and excitement that will light up your organization. Something that may be missing today.

2. Go native –You can get by in many countries by speaking English, but you’ll have an edge if you hire staff who speak the language. But it goes beyond this. You need to understand customs, the culture and how business gets done in the country. There are ways to slowly enter a country – marketing, distribution before establishing a beachhead, but having someone who is native to the market is hugely beneficial. It is an investment that will return itself many times over.

3. Focus narrow and deep –The tendency is to try to sell the entire product line instead of picking a narrow focus and doing it well. That is a steep learning curve that can lead to disaster. Much better to create an entry strategy that targets one or 2 products, the sales strategy, promotional tools and aids to make a real inroad into the market. As you learn and get established, you can broaden it. This learning period will also allow you to tailor products and services to meet local requirements as well as tuning your marketing, sales and customer service strategy to maximize effectiveness.

4. Source globally –To keep prices competitive, along with and lead and service turn-around times to a minimum, one needs to look for factories and support centers in the country or region. Personnel costs can also be lowered by relying on sales, and service centers located in areas offering either lower wage rates or tax incentives. It can also create business opportunities where local companies or governments give preference to firms with a local presence.

5. Follow your customer –This seems obvious, but many times gets overlooked. To map your route overseas, contact your existing customers or partners and ask if they need your support internationally. If you are a solid supplier with a strong reputation it reduces their risk of supply. It also greatly reduces your risk of going global if you have sales revenue flowing on day one.

Going global is an option that may be closer than you think. Keep watching, we will provide more tips along the way.

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© Rich Kohler 2014. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

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