Expanding one’s business internationally is one of the greatest strategic decisions for any business. This is one of the most potent ways of increasing the reach of one’s product and services in the greater market. But lo and behold! What works well in one’s domestic market might not even suit the foreign market. There are stalwart examples to prove the same. The most famous being the retail giant Walmart’s herculean withdrawal from Germany. There were two primary reasons associated with its failure in that market. First, it tried to operate on a pricing model that was causing losses to shopkeepers in the local market. Second, the way the customer service team was inducted to interact with the local shopkeepers with greetings at packing and checkpoints. This was similar to the company's failure in South Korea, the reasons being on similar grounds. So, it's evident from the case study that Walmart despite being a retail giant in US market couldn't make successful forays in other parts of the world owing to its stringent operational models and lack of adaptation to diverse markets. This puts a great deal of emphasis on a company's international business strategy.

So, if your company is planning for overseas business expansion, here are some of the challenges that you might face in the new geography and these are:

  • Compliances and regulations - They are one of the most critical aspects of venturing beyond the known boundaries. There are a plethora of things that your company will need to oversee right from business regulations, tax codes, pricing models, operational models to packaging protocols. Breach of any of these critical parameters can become the root cause of your company’s exit. Hence your international business strategy must encompass all the critical parameters.
  • Cultural diversity - Operating in an entirely new country can be culturally very challenging particularly when it comes to servicing the customers and understanding their feedback. Acceptance amongst new target audience depends on the flexible marketing strategy that involves an appreciation of local culture and etiquettes.
  • Competition with local players - This is another important challenge that every new player in a new country or geography faces. For any new business, there will be this constant pressure to establish trust and stand out in the new market in the milieu of strong local players.

So, how to take on the challenges and transform them into opportunities? Here are some of the globally recognized best practices when it comes to crafting the winning international business strategy for your company.

  • Evaluate the market thoroughly - It is one of the critical steps to understand the market your company will be foraying in. A complete grasp of who all you can partner with in terms of distributors, potential customers, OEM partners can be critical. Furthermore, your company must know the market competitors and thoroughly study their market strategy.
  • Establish a local office and hire a team locally - To understand and evaluate the new market, it is important to understand the market. Therefore having a dedicated office with a team hired locally helps. Partner with HR firms and hire the best of talents who can help you penetrate the market steadily through right operational expertise yet conforming to local laws and regulations.
  • Develop business strategy backed by real-time data - Define the long term and short term goals, success metrics and also define the annual budget.
  • Be Flexible in modifying business strategies to suit the market - One size never fits all and therefore, the modus operandi for different territories is bound to be different. Adhere to local laws, customs and customer preference and leverage this newfound understanding to gain trust in the market.

From the above analysis, it is evident that business expansion in the international market calls for domain expertise. The most recognized way to acquire such expertise is by explore Executive Post Graduate Diploma in International Business Strategy by Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. The course has crafted specially to equip aspiring professionals with requisite tools and knowledge required to operate in the domain of international business. Across the three trimesters, the course focuses on empowering an individual with critical international business strategy concepts and recognized practices revolving around management, IT, marketing, ethics and regulations.