Tips For Small Businesses Breaking Into International Markets

May 14, 2018

Tom Ellis is the talented Investment Director of Mai Capital – an Australian Investment Group, focused on investing in companies looking to expand into China and other international markets. Through his consulting work, Tom has developed and international network within the investment community, being involved in all stages of the investment cycle.

Tom joined a group of industry experts gathering to lead education sessions that took place at Naturally Good Expo in Sydney this April. Prior to the event the Naturally Good Business Summit will took place, with Tom joining an industry panel for a session tailored for those Australian health brands wanting to break into the Chinese market. Speakers shared their own experiences, along with providing practical advice for businesses in assessing their readiness, minimising risk, develop market entry strategies and leveraging cross-border e-commerce.

Tom Ellis, Investment Director, MAI Capital

Top 3 tips for small businesses wanting to break into the international market

Despite there being many keys for a successful international expansion, these are three of the more important things to get right to have the best chance of success.

1. Understand your target market

There are often differing consumer and business preferences across geographies, and so having a strong understanding of the target market is crucial. It will allow you to be able to effectively communicate your message in a way that truly resonates with your customers. Having this understanding allows you to tailor your approach and provide products and services that are specially tailored to the market you are trying to serve.

2. Develop strong local relationships

Local partners that are already established in your target market can be a highly useful resource capable of making the international expansion process much smoother. The right relationship can be the tipping point that establishes your presence in the market and pushes your business to a new level. Developing new relationships, and maintaining existing ones, should be a constant behaviour, something you always look to do.

3. Maintain a long-term view

It is really important, for whatever market you are trying to expand to, to see it as a long term sustainable opportunity to do business in that market. This will ensure that when you come across obstacles (which are inevitable), you have the resilience to see it through and not move on to the next opportunity. Following trends and having a short-term mindset is not the best approach, when you expand to a new foreign market, it takes time for things to develop.

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