Modern technology and infrastructure have connected the world in unimaginable ways making it easier for businesses to expand globally. As per Statista, global trade is forecasted to increase by 5.8%. This can be the reason why successful businesses in India have plans to go global to harness the purchasing power of international markets.
If you run a growing business in India and have plans to target international consumers, you must understand various facets of going global to avoid facing any roadblocks in the process.
Why should you go global with your business?
Expanding your business towards international markets makes sense because of the following reasons:
Potential for growth
Foreign territories hold promising opportunities for growth, which Indian businesses can leverage. The high purchasing power of consumers in the foreign markets can increase the level of profitability with the products you sell.
Also, there is a prevailing misconception that international ventures are only meant for large companies. But even small and medium-sized businesses can grow their business in foreign markets and sell their products to international customers.
Also, the availability of sophisticated logistics service providers that support the international delivery of goods has opened ways for business owners like you to step into the global business world.
Higher revenue and profitability
Many business owners feel their business growth has stagnated due to the limitations of the market. Without the next-level growth plan in mind, their sales and profit charts reflect nearly the same numbers over time. This calls for extending their reach to international customers and exposing the business to potential buyers.
Global expansion of your business is one way to gain a competitive advantage, particularly if you sell online and prospective buyers can compare your products with your competitors’ from different countries. With over 2.14 billion global digital buyers (Statistics – 2021), it is high time to expand your business. The more countries you trade in, the more advantage you can have over the native competitors.
Easy to counter seasonal demands
If your business seems to be affected by destabilizing fluctuations in the Indian markets due to seasonal demand cycles, you can even out the ROI by exploring international markets with counter-cyclical fluctuations.
Learnings about foreign competition
By entering global markets, you will get to learn the finer nuances about how to compete against foreign companies. If possible and sustainable, you can proceed with taking the battle to them on their ground.
If these reasons are enough to convince you to get started and plan for global business growth, wait a little more to reach the actionable part.
Questions you should ask yourself before going global
Growing your business in a non-native environment will most likely lead to several doubts. Hence, it makes sense to ask yourself certain questions like the ones given below to better understand the opportunities:
- Is my product suitable for customers in the target market?
- Is the target market familiar with products like yours?
- How much investment will I need to enter the selected foreign region(s)?
- What is the kind of infrastructure available in the target market?
- Are the customers willing to buy the product at your price?
If the answer to these questions are not in favor of your decision to venture in a new market, it does not mean you scrap your dream of going global. Perhaps, you picked the wrong market.
10 key steps to breaking into international markets
Research the market
The new market you want to step into with your product range may not have the same economic conditions and regulations as in India. Hence, it is important for you to research the local market conditions, culture, and needs of the target customers. You also need to know if the taxes and government regulations are favorable to the industry your business is in.
The groundwork you do for your global business expansion will help you grow your business without facing unexpected challenges and at the right pricing. It does require a proper growth plan to successfully expand your business from a local region to a global reach.
Here are some of the actionable steps to proceed with:
- Analyze market segments in different regions to check if your product will sell in the local markets
- Prepare a product gap analysis covering features that are not satisfied by local companies
- Consider market size
Work on product readiness
Based on the product gaps you find, you need to take the necessary steps to make your offerings ready for the new markets with high-impact product differentiation. Besides this, it is important to:
- Review industry-specific regulations and acquire certifications/compliance reports needed
- Initiate patent and trademark for your products to prevent them from being copied in the new regions
- Initiate quality assurance and testing review of your products in the local markets as per local standards
- Define a distribution and local logistics network to make the products reach the end customers.
Establish a Go-to-Market plan
An effective way to market and sell your products in a foreign land is to develop a comprehensive strategy that encompasses sales, value proposition, pricing, marketing, and similar other aspects. Such a plan will create market differentiators to propel product acceptance in the market. Your Go-to-Market plan should also cover:
- Sales model – direct, indirect, online, or distributor
- Sales methodology
- Whether you need to create a different brand or sell products under the existing brand name
- Pricing model
Work on organisational readiness
Once you are done with making your product ready for global distribution, the next important step is to create a handbook of policies and procedures to be implemented for international operations. A one-size-fits-all mindset may not result in long-term success. Besides this, work on:
- Evaluating the structure of your organisation to execute your growth strategy
- Develop handbooks that comply with local business guidelines
- Develop recruitment programs to hire qualified local employees
Localise your brand to speak the language of your audience
What’s known as ‘AAA’ in India might be available to people in a foreign land with the name ‘BBB’ and with slightly different features. This is why you need to understand the importance of localisation while planning for global expansion of your business. It is not just about translating the website content to local languages. What you offer should also be culturally sensitive and user-friendly.
You can do the following to localise your brand to attract customers in a foreign land:
- Adapt your products and knowledge base for regional use
- Adapt the brand presentation to cover local cultural nuances
- Incorporate the right design elements to match the local context
Engage local professionals
When you want to convey the core brand message to customers in a different region, you need people belonging to that region to work for you. It is because they know more about the ground reality and consumer behaviour than you or your team. They can help interface with the local customers while also accelerating the learning curve of your team to sell more.
Ensure legal readiness
If the country you have selected for global business expansion is highly litigious, it is critical to define strong legal processes in order to minimize unnecessary commercial risks. Also, keep a check on legal documentation requirements prior to operating in a new market. Being proactive in this regard will help offset risks and liabilities that may otherwise arise.
Also, keep in mind the following legal aspects while making your organisation ready to go global:
- Localized commercial agreements
- Industry-specific regulations review
- Know-how related to dispute resolution, customer, shipping, etc.
- Corporate record maintenance
Get the taxes and finances in order
For global business expansion, having proper tax and finance infrastructure early on ensures that your foreign entity is adhering to local corporate procedures. This should cover:
- Outsourcing accounting, payroll, and tax preparation
- Developing a risk management plan
- Establishing relationships with local banks
- Handling cash repatriation
Prepare your budget for business expansion
All the results you obtain from the steps given above will provide you with enough data to define a final budget needed to expand the business internationally. To maintain further granularity in it, you can classify the budget as per a 12-month business plan with detailed KPI and expected results.
Simplify payment acceptance
Last but not the least, payment acceptance in your native currency plays a critical role.
Let’s assume a buyer’s journey to your brand in an international market to help you streamline the process –
A customer reaches your website via an online search and adds a few products into the cart. Later, he realises he can’t buy them because the website does not process payments in his native currency.
This is a common scenario faced by foreign customers while buying from non-native brands. To avoid facing this challenge, simplified payment processing should be one of your top priorities. A customer outside India should be able to pay for the purchases in their native currency while you receive the amount in INR. Here, the right selection of a payment gateway matters the most for successful business expansion.
3 most common pitfalls of going global
Along with knowing what you need to do to expand your business globally, it is equally important to have an understanding of what you should never do. Going global carries with it a heavy load of peril, which includes chasing too many opportunities, getting whacked by currency fluctuations, and more.
To grab the brass ring of growth while going global, avoid the following pitfalls:
- Expanding haphazardly without planning a strategy
- Chasing product sales from the world over all at once instead of starting to target a single or a couple of countries
- Assuming if it works in India, it will work everywhere
Go global with Paytm Payment Gateway
If you are wondering how you will deal with regulatory compliance related to payments, payment tracking, or currency conversion, look no further than Paytm Payment Gateway. Using our international payment gateway, you can easily accept payments from foreign customers via their preferred payment method.
Given below are other benefits of choosing Paytm Payment Gateway to support international payments:
- Transparent conversion process
- Timely settlement into your bank account
- Comprehensive dashboard to assess business performance
- No separate API integration needed
- Best suited for all types of businesses, including a D2C startup, SaaS company, and others