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4 aspects to include in your internationalisation business plan

4 aspects to include in your internationalisation business plan

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In the recent years, a rapidly growing number of UK based businesses decides to approach foreign markets and expand their potential customer base and market share abroad. Even with Brexit looming over and the uncertain outcome of this political situation, business owners in the United Kingdom seem to be putting on a brave mask and are ready to face the challenges.

Nonetheless, even in the friendliest of political and economic environments, an international business expansion simply must be planned extremely carefully and well in order to increase its changes for succeeding, and so in current political/economic situation of United Kingdom and Europe in general, such plan must be nothing short of flawless.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the aspects which should be included in such internationalisation plan. These are:

  • Understanding your market
  • Understanding your potential customers
  • Professionally translating your documents and other materials
  • Learning from your competitors 

Understand your market

One of, if not the most, critical parts of taking your company abroad is initially choosing the best market for your international venture. To do so, you must firstly fully understand your company, what you offer, what are the advantages and disadvantages of your products/services and what you can do to improve them. Once you recognise your strengths and weaknesses, it will be easier for you to find the appropriate market.

Of course, there are many foreign markets which may seem like a natural expansion route for a UK based business, for example, the United States or Australia, due to their use of English language and their seemingly similar cultures. This isn’t however always the case and even some of the largest multinational companies, such as Tesco, had to learn this the hard way. You can read more about Tesco’s expansion into the U.S market here.

Certainly, the holy grail of international expansion is finding a foreign market which isn’t yet saturated with competitors, but already has a mature consumer base, which understands your products/services and are economically advantaged, allowing them to commit a purchase.

Understand your potential customer

From cultural, social, economic or even political or religious motives – the number of aspects that can directly or indirectly affect the behaviour of your potential customers is almost endless. Before going abroad with your products and services, either digitally or physically, understanding what the strongest of such motives are in your chosen market is truly significant.

By identifying what the most prominent aspects affecting consumer behaviour are, you’ll be able to adjust your products/services and marketing campaigns accordingly, which will then consequently guarantee a more coherent and appropriate approach. 

Translate your materials

Until very recently, translation and interpreting services were somewhat trivial to business owners who preferred a cheap ‘one-for-all’ internationalisation approach, which included approaching all chosen foreign markets which the documents/materials and campaigns prepared for their home market.

With the growth of globalisation and developments in technology however, the true business value behind translations and localisation services was ‘re-discovered’.

In today’s business environment, translating both legal documents as well as marketing materials prior to expanding internationally is considered essential. From translating contracts, warranties and terms & conditions to brochures and websites, business owners appreciate the benefits a localised approach can bring to their companies in the long-term and language is in the centre of such approach.

To fully understand the value behind professional translations, we’ve contacted a representative of TS24, a leading and fastest growing translation agency based in London, UK. We asked whether the company can see a clear growth of businesses requiring their help in the recent years. They’ve told us that ‘’Although the political climate in Europe, and especially in the UK, is currently slightly hostile towards international business expansions, we can still see an amazing growth in the numbers of companies requiring translation services. This includes businesses from the SME sector as well as already established, multinational companies as well as rapidly developing start-up companies. It appears that the trend towards fully localised campaigns, which includes language translations, is increasing, especially within young and dynamic companies which are already successful on the UK market.’

Learn from your competitors

Whether you’re a small, locally based company or a large international business, the chances are that you have already established competitors, some of which might have tried expanding internationally before you.

If that’s the case, you’re in luck.

Whether they’ve succeeded or not, you can see where they went right and what could have been improved in order for the international venture to be more fruitful by studying their internationalisation approach. Have they chosen the right market? Did they identify their potential customers and their behaviours correctly? Was their marketing material carefully and professionally translated? These are the types questions which will allow you to understand their approach better and allow you to draw a more consistent and coherent plan for your own company.

As you can see, taking your company abroad is indeed a difficult and lengthy process. It takes a great deal of preparation and planning to get things right, and even then, unforeseeable complications can arise. It is essential however that in order to minimise risks, all of the above factors are carefully and thoroughly looked at.

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