Here is what you should know when expanding your business:
We have seen scaling from a marketing perspective in which we play a large role to in making this happen., because of our clients.
But as any entrepreneur can attest, scaling into new markets internationally, particularly in countries that don't speak your language, requires a lot of planning, execution, and partnership.
Truth is, I know very little about expanding particularly when it comes to the funding aspect. Using other people's money is a huge risk! While some people know how to play this game and execute on their promises, other's quite simply, know how to lose it all- due to viewing loans as free money.
When you are looking to grow your business, you need to ensure that not only do you have financials in order,but people, management, product/service as well. But most important you have a marketing tactic in place over every single thing that you do. If you do this well, you will succeed
There are some things to consider:
Your first touch point, is what people will remember the most
When you enter a new market, you need to be clear about what your company can and will achieve, it's best to understate than overstate. You need to provide "wow" factor and followup without fault. People will remember that, and if you do the little things, like "thank you" cards, or at the very least a followup email - most people will remember that too.
Be authentic and honest
By showing transparency in what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve, you will gain respect from everyone. In addition, people who would not normally listen to you, will want to help you.
Look after your own backyard first
This is reiterated to me often by my mentors and it is so true. You cannot scale if you haven't got everything in place and that means people, systems and processes. When you fail to do this, you fail to execute on your plan. You cannot grow in new markets if your base is a mess. Keep investing in your people and give them a reason to be part of the bigger picture.
You need money
I wish it were not true but it is. You really need money to scale. I have done this without anyone else's money to date, and it really does cost a lot more than you envisage. Fortunately for Marketing Eye, we expanded into the US market when the Australian dollar was worth more than the US dollar. Everything was affordable. Now, if you are looking to scale, you really need to factor into the equation the volatility of currency, salaries, marketing, legals, accounting, insurance and more. The second phase of this equation is what happens when you run out of money? Do you scale back? Do you wait for your brand to be successful financially and use that money to fund future growth? Or do you seek investors?
I wouldn't have given up expanding to the US for quids. It was singularly the hardest, yet the best decision I ever made.
I am one person, so I have had to draw on strength that I never knew I had. There have been stops and starts due to some of the above, and also due to sheer exhaustion. You have to share the load, but reward in return. There are so many things to consider, and without sitting in the shoes of someone who is doing this - it's hard to navigate or understand really what goes into scaling your business internationally.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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Hello Marketingeye Team,
I've started reading your blog on a daily basis. I really enjoyed your latest one, "Singularly the hardest, yet the best decision I ever made". I found it to be informative and passionate. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings regarding expanding a business. Also, when I clicked on the link next to Ms. Mellissah Smith's name, the link seemed to be broken. I just thought you like to know.
Craig A. Wingate MPH, MSc
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