As with starting any business, making the choice to sell your products in a new market and being successful takes dedication. If you are considering selling your products internationally, take some time to consider what percentage of revenues you would like to receive from new markets. Would these additional sales benefit your business? What markets would be part of your plan? If you don't have a plan, what steps are you taking to get one in place?
Through my experience in establishing significant international businesses, your success is largely a matter of intentions and commitment − having the attitude that you are going to be in an important market whatever the barriers may be. Oftentimes, companies seem to have a casual interest in the international opportunity and give up when the first hurdle presents itself. However, those companies that truly are committed end up having success. Such examples include Nutrilite supplements throughout Asia or Ito En with its teas in the United States.
Over the past ten years working in international markets, I've witnessed common themes on why companies don't succeed. These include:
● Lack of organizational clarity
- The entire organization hasn't "bought in".
- International business is never a priority.
● Lack of planning
- A plan is never developed.
- The primary concern is with the domestic business and no one considered how an international business would relate and co-exist.
● Barriers to entry not thought out
- Regulatory requirements not considered.
- Intellectual property or freedom-to-operate review was not
completed for a particular market.
● Resources not allocated to initiating and building business
- No one responsible for managing business.
- Limited or no sales or marketing expenses allocated to establish and grow business.
● No patience
- Appoint a distributor and hope the sales "roll in".
- Think quick sales as opposed to long-term business.
It's important to remember that succeeding internationally takes the same level of devotion as it did when your company was first starting out and building its core business. If your organization takes this same zeal and attitude into new markets and be willing to adopt the market's requirements to meet a particular need, success is imminent.
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