Acquiring market information, or doing market research, is an essential action when considering breaking into foreign markets. The first step is to evaluate the realistic possibilities of starting export, import or other international cooperation. Carefully consider all aspects affecting business operations and competitiveness: product, marketing, goals and material as well as immaterial resources. Additionally, you will want to make sure you have sufficient support from stakeholders.
Versatile facts about the foreign business environment
Investigating external factors means obtaining useful information about customers and competitors, as well as about political, economical, legal, social and cultural conventions. Additionally, planning should take into account international trends and their effect on your particular field of business.
Export operations always require a separate, thorough market research and analysis of each individual country. The management and export of key personnel must be able to understand and make use of the acquired market knowledge. Often it is enough to do basic market research, but if you are considering different ways to establish your business, you should be conducting a deeper investigation of the target country. Be ready to draw bold conclusions based on the results.
Decision making based on topical information
Strategic planning includes deciding goals, ways of working and the organisation used to reach the goals. Starting the operations requires both financial and human resources, which means you must secure funding well in advance. Additionally, you must take into account the work that is needed in controlling, reporting and keeping track of the operations.
The planning work can also be focused solely on marketing strategy if other functions (production, finance and HR) are kept in the home country. It is not necessary to have a separate marketing division if the exports are marginal in the beginning. Instead, the marketing department in the home country can plan foreign marketing based on the market research.
- A base for exports & marketing plan:
- What products or services, where and how? (criteria, need for development, competitive edge)
- Research in the home country and abroad (what information is needed and how it is acquired)
- Target customer groups, choosing the supply channels (criteria and means for finding customers, using a representative or not?)
- Marketing, sales promotion (equipment, actions, target group)
- Needed contracts (representatives, customers, maintenance, logistics and insurances)
- Insurance needs and delivery clauses (product insurance, staff insurance, insurances for transport and goods)
- Practical costs and budgeting for export operations (market research, investment needs, product adjustments, marketing materials, distribution and sales costs)
After the market research, you will have sufficient information about the target market and the premises for success. Next, we move on to executing the well-planned internationalisation process.
Successful international leap with Wannado
Do you feel like it would be nice to have someone more experienced sparring you in your international project? Wannado’s SuperAssistants want to help you take your business abroad. We do the market research in your target country and offer a wide network to support you in any sudden or constant challenges you may face. Our experts have decades of experience in planning and executing business strategy and funding. We do sales and marketing with native speakers, so you can be sure we don’t get lost in translation or culture clashes. We also offer staffing services, event planning and a lot more to support your business in a new country.
Business Development Consultant
[These practical tips for internationalisation are based on material by Irma-Liisa Pouttu-Anttila / Infomix Oy. Updates by Thomas Palmgren, chief of international affairs at Finnish Entrepreneurs Organisation. Adjusted to Wannado’s service selection by Kari Tiihonen, Business Consultant and Chair of Finnish Entrepreneurs in Spain. This information is always applied individually in each case and it gives a basic picture of prerequisites for success. ]