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To reach your conquest success, here are the 10 rules to abide by:
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the target market: It is crucial to gain an in-depth comprehension of our products and services target market, covering aspects such as potential customers, competitors, distribution, and sales channels, access to vital resources, entry barriers, opportunities, and trends. This knowledge is indispensable for evaluating the feasibility of our internationalization project. Too often, companies neglect to understand customer needs or the competitive landscape before attempting to sell their products, sometimes pursuing a single opportunity without a strategic approach.
- Understand the cultural, legal, and work environment: Acquiring a profound understanding of the target market, encompassing cultural nuances, language complexities, business practices, and regulatory landscapes, is crucial. Adapting to these aspects ensures the respect and confidence necessary for a successful market entry. Cultural differences, language intricacies, and various business dynamics must be navigated effectively to avoid costly mistakes.
- Define the correct initial strategy: Using the insights gained, formulate an initial strategy tailored to the specific market. Consider various options for operations, such as local agents, creating a subsidiary, acquiring an established company, or a combination of these. Conduct a SWOT analysis to systematically assess Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, guiding the strategic decision-making process. Start ambitiously but begin with a manageable scope to facilitate quick learning.
- Customize the marketing approach for the new market, avoiding the mistake of presenting the entire commercial offer without modifications. Select products with the highest probability of success, adjust prices according to the market, and shape marketing strategies to produce the desired impact on potential customers.
- Find the right local human resources: Ensure seamless coordination between local human resources and leaders of the company. Invest in training and integrating local staff, adapting policies to attract and retain talent. Consider cost differentials and the value each party brings to avoid costly mistakes.
- Cultivate partners and institutions: Effectively utilize external supports, including government institutions, export-supporting entities, associations, consulting companies, and partnerships with other foreign companies. Leverage these resources to implement the market entry strategy at an acceptable cost.
- Consider both commercial and government markets: Explore opportunities in both commercial and government markets, understanding the complexities involved in public contracts. Be aware of legal requirements such as the “Buy American Act” and the advantages given to local Small Businesses in certain contracts, such as set-asides.
- Define realistic deadlines and budgets: Acknowledge that internationalization projects often require more investment and time than initially estimated. Conduct a thorough initial study to provide the necessary information for a reliable plan and budget. Consider both tangible and intangible benefits, such as brand enhancement and access to valuable resources.
- Act quickly and adapt the strategy continuously: Avoid analysis paralysis and initiate activities promptly after defining the strategy. Continuously adapt the strategy based on learning along the way, recognizing that every plan is prone to errors and will become obsolete. Follow a strategic planning process that allows for agile management and periodic updates.
- Select the right staff and provide necessary support: Choose individuals with essential qualities like energy, ambition, humility, empathy, flexibility, and passion to lead the initiative. Ensure they have the full support of top management, emphasizing their involvement and frequent travel to the target market during the initial stages.
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