The idea of launching a global business in international markets can be a daunting one. There’s so much to consider and countless choices to make throughout the process that can make or break an international launch.
For us, global engagement is at the core of the brand, so launching in international markets has been a priority since inception. We recently launched in the UK and Ireland, and will be rolling out lottery services worldwide in the coming months.
Thinking of expanding globally? Here, I share my five top tips for launching a global business.
Build a network
This is such an important foundation for a company that aims to go global. Build an international network of people who complement your own skill set. Surround yourself with those who share the vision of where you want to go and want to help you get there.
The best networks are varied. You want a mix of people on board who come from different walks of life and have different skills to offer. Let that network challenge you, the mix of knowledge, creativity and experience will help your business develop in ways you couldn’t have planned alone.
You don’t need bricks and mortar
You don’t need offices and employees in each territory to be successful in that market. It’s an expensive way to run a business and an initial expense your business simply doesn’t need to be paying out.
You can choose your own route to market. Other options include licensing your technology to local partners who will launch it into the market, or working with marketing teams in different territories who will work with you to launch the product or service.
In the early stages of building a business you have the advantage of being able to work flexibly. When you are launching in international markets, take full advantage of this agility and test out your business on smaller markets first. This gives you the perfect opportunity and a safer space to make any mistakes, learn your lessons, and perfect your approach before taking on the bigger markets.
One size doesn’t fit all
Remember that each international market is different. Just because customers have certain habits or preferences in one culture, doesn’t mean that those choices are universal. Do some market research and utilise any local insights to appeal specifically to the consumers in that market.
The ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ sentiment is also very relevant when it comes to licences and legislation. It is of the utmost importance to learn the rules you will need to adhere to and note any varying fees you will have to pay in different countries.
Cash in those air miles
In one of his LinkedIn blogs, Richard Branson said, ‘There is a special power in a face to face meeting.’ This certainly rings true when it comes to launching in international markets. Invest some time and money into building a personal relationship with partners, investors, affiliates, PRs, marketing executives, and others. You will find that you often leave meetings with more than you went in hoping to gain or achieve.
Remember to travel to conferences and immerse yourself in your chosen industry. Meet the experts, decision makers, and influencers who are most pertinent to your business. Attending international industry events not only gives you valuable insight into the specific markets, but also allows you to meet new people who can have a genuine impact what you’re doing.
Kfir Biton is the co-founder of Lottoz.