4 tips for global expansion in today's business world
If you truly want to increase your business's outreach, then it's time to start thinking globally.
Today's business world is globalizing at a rapid rate and it's never too late for your business to jump on the international bandwagon.
With worldwide enterprises in mind, here are just a few ways your business can globalize:
1. Research global markets
In order to successfully take your business overseas, you must first research various foreign markets. Just because your business in successful in one country doesn't mean it will be in another, so start with the basics like product trends as well as customer needs and wants.
Is a product you currently sell trending in another country? Is there a particular need for the service you provide overseas?
By researching ahead of time, you can increase your chances for business success on a global level. It's also important to look at particular market features that will affect your business in the long run.
For example, what is the currency exchange rate history for the country or countries you're interested in? If exchange rates are in your favor more often than not, then those foreign locations are likely a safe bet financially speaking.
2. Overcome language barriers
Having a general understanding of language can help you immensely when setting up shop in another country. You don't necessarily have to be fluent, but knowing certain words and conversational cues is important.
As the following article looks at, whether you teach yourself 7 strange idioms from around the world or common questions in a certain language, having a general understanding of foreign language will make the global transition much easier.
If you don't have a knack for languages or you want to fully immerse your business in a foreign country, then it's wise to hire a translator. Foreign translators can assist you with one-on-one transactions and help you properly convert your business website idioms and all!
3. Assess the competition
No matter what kind of business you run, competition is everywhere.
The whole point of going global with your business is to introduce it to a foreign market where competition is minimal. Keep this in mind when searching for an ideal location.
It's perfectly fine if there are already similar businesses in the foreign country you have in mind; in fact, this is sometimes helpful in terms of familiarizing foreigners with your business. However, if a certain country seems saturated with your business type, it's best just to move on.
4. Visit your destination
Before you decide to take your business global, first plan on visiting your country of choice. This is especially the case if you're opening a physical storefront in a foreign town or city. When dreaming of a successful business in a foreign land, it's easy to get caught up in the process without actually considering local factors.
By actually visiting your destination, you can see firsthand what the city is like, if tourism is actually booming, and if your business will feel at home with the local community.
If globalization is in your business's future, then keep in mind the helpful pointers above and don't make any hasty decisions.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including globalization and international business.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.