Internationalising a company does not end when you have made the first steps in a new market. Spoiler alert: That’s when the adventure really begins. Read on to discover 3 expansion essentials that will make your collaboration go smoother.
When expanding internationally, the ultimate goal is always the long-term success of your company in new markets. This means that market entry does not have a completion date; it transitions smoothly into operational management. Therefore, the success of a company on an international level depends heavily on how employees get along with each other, as this influences business aspects such as information flow and collaboration in general. Whether all units are based in one country or in several, this is where international coordination comes into play. A guiding principle for getting started: if a market is to be as successful as the home market, you have to give it the same attention.
Expansion essentials #1
Don't call your staff outside the home market “the internationals”
You have to make staff in new and other target markets feel valued – and not just refer to them as “the internationals”. Their concerns and problems are just as important as those of the home market, and they are best placed to judge whether local issues are really a priority. For example, payment methods may differ from one country to another, and it will require technical adaptation of your website or systems. Also, products need to be presented differently in Germany and France … where we need more design and dynamic colours in France we need longer and more detailed product descriptions in Germany with details on origin, functionality and technical details.
Expansion essentials #2
Find your common ground
It is essential to build a relationship of trust with your employees in all markets and make sure that they get along well across borders. An annual team seminar to shape the strategy for the year? Great! A commonly spoken language that encourages all staff to participate openly and enables them to understand every communication and document? Even better! Which means are the best for success is not set in stone and may look different from company to company. Talk to your employees and colleagues about how collaboration and communication can work on an international level. So that they constitute an international team and not country-specific teams that, in the worst case, find themselves in competition with each other.
Expansion essentials #3
Start recruiting international profiles!
The more diversity you have in your home market, even at your headquarters, the more the mindsets of all employees will be sharpened to the fact that cultures may be similar, but are ultimately fundamentally different. This will create openness and exchange that will positively influence not only the internal team dynamics, but also the understanding and approach of your customers in new markets!
An internationalisation process is not finished when you have opened your legal structure or signed the first local client. To be successful in the long run and have employees who are satisfied and motivated, you need to create a corporate culture that is internationally oriented and gives all markets the same possibilities and opportunities.
Which other expansion essentials come to mind? We’d be happy to chat about it. Reach out and let’s grab a coffee together!