Today’s world is truly global. Thanks to the internet and advances in technology, we are more connected than ever. Doorways for businesses to grow around the world and access new customers have opened up, and as a business owner you should take notice.
The entrepreneurs who are set up to have a global business from the get go are ahead of the pack. You should start believing that your business can go global. Do that and you will be putting your best foot forward.
Small scale or born global?
According to research from Women In Global Business (WIGB), Australian women-owned businesses that have expanded overseas achieve greater success, with one-third of global business operations earning more than half their revenue internationally. There are real opportunities for startups to grow globally and fast – WIGB reports that 42 per cent of women-owned businesses internationalised within 12 months of launch, and 81 per cent within the first five years.
These business owners may not have expected to achieve such growth and expansion from the get go, but a majority of them reached this milestone quite early on in their journey. Startups that plan to go global from the outset often make the transition into other regions more quickly and easily than other competitors.
So how can you set your business up to succeed internationally in the early days?
1. Plan big
When you are building your business plan you have to make it scalable. The successful businesses that consider the global growth opportunities include international growth in their plans.
Mapping out the timeline, investment, suppliers and other requirements your global business will need that may be different to a local operation will help keep you on track to reach the goal.
2. Seek out avenues for capital
Global businesses come with additional costs. Armed with your business plan, you should seek out capital to support your internationalisation. Getting buy-in and investment is a key challenge for women-owned businesses, however there are funding options available to help propel your business idea into the international space.
3. Choose the right tech
Technology that can support changes in the way your business operates as it scales can save you making costly and time consuming changes as your turnover and staffing levels increase. Software such as the cloud accounting software Xero, and Slack, the messaging app for teams, enable you to add on functionality as and when you need it.
4. Build a network
Networks can make or break a business. As a business owner you need to foster relationships.
Consider the potential regions you might expand into and start building a network in that area. Getting insight from a mentor with experience in a particular place is a great way to start. Localised suppliers, factories, marketers and distributors are all important parts of the business that you will need to source in each region. Having contacts to advise and support you is imperative.
5. Adapt and innovate
Each market is unique and different. Just because something works in Australia, doesn’t mean it will take off in China. A business that is adaptable is more likely to succeed, so be ready and willing to make changes and concessions for different areas. This is where market research and analysis will help.
Be willing to do things differently – innovate and challenge your own ideas.
In this day and age exporting is a huge opportunity for Australian business owners. Learn from the successful startups before you and set your business up to be born global.
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