Attracting new clients, increased revenue, brand awareness, and tapping into global talent are a few reasons why businesses may want to trade internationally.
The Government has estimated there are 5.6 million private sector businesses in the UK, and International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, encouraged the nation’s companies to “sell to the world” during International Trade Week in November 2021. She stated: “The UK makes some of the best products in the world, but only 1 in 10 businesses currently export around the world.”
That said, global growth can be expensive and time-consuming. Not every business makes it internationally and many companies have expanded without a clear business strategy and as a result, have found themselves out of pocket.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the USA’s Walmart succeeded in expanding to Canada and Mexico but pulled out of Malaysia and South Korea. German firm, Metro, sought to grow its wholesaling brand in several international markets – it was a hit in Poland and Romania but failed here in the UK and in Denmark.
To make sure your business is a success worldwide, we’ve put together a list of the essential things to consider:
Know your market
You might want to expand across mainland Europe, the USA, or Asia, but is your product or service relevant for customers or clients in these territories? Market research can help you find the answers.
You can conduct research in various ways, including surveys, interviews, trade reports, and even sending your team to your target countries to carry out an on-the-ground analysis. However, market research is often laborious; location intelligence software can take the hard work out of it by using your data and local demographics to find profitable locations across the planet.
Available globally, our leading geospatial tool – Periscope® – can use your high trading UK sites as case studies and find lookalike locations anywhere in the world to repeat that success in other countries.
Consistency is key
Let’s say you’ve conducted your market research, but you find each region’s data and analysis are completely different. This can make it difficult to create a meaningful picture of which area(s) to focus your expansion on. It can be like comparing chalk to cheese.
Location intelligence software can help you measure data from area to area, consistently looking at the same parameters each time, such as customer spending; drive time to work, your proposed location(s) and competitors; and major local demographics.
Understand the location
Once you’ve picked your potential international territories to expand into, the next step is to do a deeper dive into those region(s). The best and fastest way to do this is with detailed location data.
Location intelligence can help you see where travel and transport routes are, understand local consumer buying habits, determine whether it is an urban or rural area, and find out what and where other businesses are nearby. This way, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your brand.
Even if you’ve found a lookalike location, it’s still worth doing a more comprehensive data search as it could help you pinpoint the exact site(s) where you’re most likely to see a return on investment.
Check out the competition
When growing into a new territory, it’s wise to know who your competitors are, whether they’re on the doorstep of your new premise(s) or trading across the whole country, either digitally or physically. The last thing you want to do is expand into an already oversaturated market.
While it is worthwhile, it may feel like without travelling back and forth to your new area or Googling for hours on end, finding your competition could take up valuable resources. A location intelligence platform, like Periscope®, can find all your competitors in minutes, visually displaying where each one is located and how many are near your new site.
Once you know who your competitors are, make sure you compare each company against one another, analysing their strengths and weaknesses. Match these against your USPs, so you know how to market your brand to stand out to new international consumers.
Location intelligence isn’t limited to the UK. At Newgrove, we’re at the forefront of location intelligence software and have clients who trade globally. As our Periscope® tool provides you with a secure corporate version of Google Maps, it is available in any region. If you’ve got teams across the planet, time zones aren’t an issue – Periscope® is cloud-based, allowing you to access the platform 24/7 on any device, anywhere in the world.