Expanding into new markets can be a very exciting time for a business, but it’s not without its challenges. It’s important to follow a careful process that allows you to assess the potential of each opportunity objectively, as a wrong decision or entering a market without the right research could be detrimental.
If you are currently operating in the UK and wish to expand in Europe, or vice versa, there are helpful steps to follow to maximise your success. Having a market entry strategy is crucial, as CEE Sourcing Ltd explains here.
Define and understand your market
If you’ve decided it’s time to expand into a new market, congratulations. This could be a great opportunity for your business, whether it’s the first time you’ve expanded or you’re widening your existing reach. It’s important that you take the time to define the market you want to expand into, and understand it before taking any action.
Understanding the target customer and why you think this particular market will be a success can give you a better picture of your goals. Consider the demographics and location, as well as the needs of your customers, and which markets around the world are going to be best suited to generating results and success.
Carry out market analysis
Entering a new market involves a lot of research in order to help you lay the foundations for success. You should aim to know as much as you can about the market you’re hoping to enter, and be able to use that knowledge to drive your strategy accordingly.
Take the time to understand market growth rates, forecasted rates and any potential barriers that could hinder your business. This type of market analysis can show you how your business would succeed, and don’t forget competitor and risk analysis too. You should also study cultural insights and the business landscape in your chosen market, as it could differ significantly from your current one.
Assess your capabilities
It can be incredibly helpful to assess your internal capabilities and what time-to-market considerations exist. Do you already have relationships and infrastructure resources in place to facilitate market entry, or does this need building first?
It’s important to think about your internal resources and what you can already achieve, or whether you need an outsourcing partner to help execute your market entry strategy.
Prioritise your markets
If you have identified a number of markets that you could be successful in, it might be helpful to prioritise those markets in readiness for a market entry strategy. Consider which of your identified markets would meet the needs for your customers best in the near-future, and where you could be most successful in your expansion strategy.
Look for gaps in the marketplace that could be filled and what value your business will deliver, in order to choose a priority order of markets to expand into.
Consider market entry options
When considering your options, you’re essentially beginning to put together your business plan and implementation plan for market entry. Consider what suppliers you will need, which professional relationships need to be built and assessing the right channels for your market entry strategy.
You will also need to consider things like business registration and legalities that should be followed, as they could be different to your current market, and it’s also worth looking for any investments or grants you may be eligible for.
Interesting related article: “What is a Market Analysis?”