International Strategy – Tips for Foreign Market Entry

A regulatory strategy. Where will foreign governments help you and where will they block your progress? Are you in touch with local leaders when necessary? And will your government allow you to sell in a foreign market? Are there any conditions you must satisfy to be able to do this?

A competitive analysis. Who are you displacing by being in the market? Who will block your presence there? What advantages do you have over your new competitors? What is their advantage, and how will you overcome it? What are your rivals doing to price, promote, distribute, and enhance product?

A true understanding of the customer. Who are the customer groups? How will you approach the clientele? What is the sales cycle like in this country? What motivates the client to buy? Are customers open to the idea of new players in the market?

A genuine “mode of entry” strategy. What will be your way in to this market? Will you be selling directly or through some form of distribution? Are there other firms you can cooperate with to gain market entry?

Realistic expectations. Does your firm understand how long and how difficult this market will be to enter? As each market has specific and varying conditions, each territory must be carefully studied.

The correct market champions. Companies can often leap to the conclusion that success at home will equal success abroad. The one liner: “Jim Bob did such a good job selling in Kansas, we’re giving him Tokyo.”

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