Expansion Into Other Markets

So, you’re happy with your product? It helps people, they love it, and they want more? That’s a fantastic feeling. If it helps people in your country, maybe it can help those in other countries. Wouldn’t that be great? Let’s do it!

Read on

Market analysis and entry

Entering a new market is a costly endeavor. Before committing to one particular market, you should run as many tests as possible to understand the viability of doing so.

Regardless of your type of product, the first thing you should do is understand whether what you sell in one location can be sold without modifications in another. Different markets may require additional modifications—if that’s the case, make a list.

The next step is to understand consumer demand in the new market you want to enter. If you have an online business, you can create localized versions of your landing pages and drive traffic to them. These can be real or so-called "fake door" websites that seem to describe a complete product, but when people subscribe, you can tell them something along the lines of "Thank you, we're launching in your location in three months." This gives you a sense of actual demand.

If you have a physical product or require someone to be present to make a sale, the best person to send is you, since you possess the best understanding of your product. If expansion is significant, only you can make the necessary changes to the company's core to be successful.

After you gauge interest and know which modifications your product requires, you should have a pretty good idea of which, if any, markets are worth expanding into.

Localization and customer support

Localization is essential for products that aren’t used by multinationals or are meant to be used in the local languages. While this seems obvious, associated changes to the product’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), and your company's operations, may not be so clear.

Looking at the Latin alphabet as an example, translation to German can be challenging, as the language has many long words that UI elements like buttons aren’t usually large enough to house—unless your design was meant to accommodate them from the start . Expanding to right-to-left writing countries like those speaking Arabic or Hebrew? Get ready to mirror-flip your entire UI.

Of course, if you have a website localized to, say, Mandarin, people will write to your customer support in Mandarin. Therefore, operationally, you will need to have Mandarin-speaking customer support representatives.