loader image

What is internationalization of a company?

It is the process of expanding operations beyond national borders to enter foreign markets. This can include exporting products, establishing subsidiaries, forming strategic alliances, and adapting products and services to local needs.

What benefits can I gain from this?

  1. More Customers: Selling in more places means more customers and therefore more sales.
  2. Less Risk: If sales drop in your country but rise in another, it helps keep your income stable.
    Access to New Resources: In other countries, you can find cheaper materials or different talents that help improve your products.
  3. Better Presence: International brands have more recognition and therefore generate more trust.
  4. Risk Diversification: By operating in multiple markets, you can reduce your vulnerability to economic fluctuations in a single country.

How do I know if my business is ready to internationalize?

  • Optimal Conditions: This can be evidenced by auditing the production and sales levels of recent periods and analyzing production costs and inventory variations.
  • Necessary Technology: Ensure you have the technology needed for exportation. Each country has its own trade policies and regulations, requiring specialized technologies for efficient product management and shipping.
  • Market Capacity: Analyze if you truly have the capacity to enter a new market optimally.
  • Market Study: What works well at home may not be successful abroad. Before taking the first step, ensure you have a broad, current, and realistic view of the new market.

I meet the checklist! What’s next?

If everything above is in order, you can start. Let’s go step by step:

  1. Determine Your Expansion Goals: It’s crucial to know if your goals align with your global expansion plan. Clear goals are essential for success. Once objectives are defined, evaluate your current
  2. resources and what you will need for expansion.
  3. Identify the Opportunity: Understand the demand for your products in the new market and the profile of your ideal customer, including their purchasing power and interest in the product. Study these factors to identify growth opportunities. Ensure you understand the digital landscape of the target market, including internet penetration and mobile connectivity. This will help estimate online sales and logistic needs for international shipments.
  4. Know Your New Markets: Not only in terms of consumers but more broadly. This will help you analyze factors that may affect your business entry and identify areas where adaptations are necessary. Familiarize yourself with local festivities, religious celebrations, and cultural aspects.
  5. Identify Your Competition and Work on Your Value Proposition: Monitor your future competitors, both local and international, to understand the gap you can fill with your value proposition. Evaluate why preferred companies are successful and find areas where you can have a better opportunity.
  6. Define Your Marketing Strategy: An integral marketing plan is crucial for success in international expansion. First, get consumers to know you. Focus on positioning yourself as a viable option and work on building your brand.
  7. Think Globally, Act Locally: Design a scalable and adaptable strategy for each market. Internationalization involves more than translating the corporate website; it requires a strategy that considers the particularities of each market without losing sight of the global picture.

Obstacles on the Way and Some Ideas on How to Overcome Them

Challenges
  1. Cultural and Linguistic Differences: Adapting to different cultures and languages can be a significant challenge affecting marketing, sales, and customer service.
  2. Regulatory and Legal Complexities: Companies must navigate different regulatory frameworks and legal systems in each country, which can be complex and time-consuming.
  3. Financial Risks: Internationalization exposes companies to financial risks such as exchange rate fluctuations and challenges in payment collection.
Resolutions
  • Cultural and Linguistic Differences: Hire native individuals from the target country who understand cultural and linguistic nuances, facilitating communication and adaptation. Provide intercultural training to your employees to understand and respect cultural differences.
  • Regulatory and Legal Complexities: Hire local lawyers or consultants who understand the laws and regulations of the target country. Stay updated on the country’s current laws and regulations, including tax, labor, and environmental norms.
  • Financial Risks: Use financial instruments like hedging to protect against exchange rate fluctuations. Implement strict credit and collection management policies to ensure timely payments. Use credit insurance to protect against non-payment.

Need a Helping Hand? No Problem!

Here are some organizations that support entrepreneurs in internationalization from Europe and the United States to Mexico:

  • Spain

ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones: A national public entity in Spain whose main mission is to promote the internationalization of Spanish companies and attract foreign investments to Spain. It acts as a bridge between Spanish companies and international markets, offering a wide range of support services and programs.

Support Services and Programs:

  1. Information and Advice.
  2. Training programs in international trade.
  3. Organizes international promotion activities such as trade fairs, trade missions, and business events in foreign markets.
  4. Offers financial support through various programs and financing lines for Spanish companies looking to expand abroad.
  • USA

Small Business Administration (SBA): A U.S. government agency that provides support to small businesses. Within the SBA, the Office of International Trade (OIT) specifically helps small U.S. businesses compete globally. It offers a variety of services and programs designed to facilitate exportation and internationalization.

Support Services and Programs:

  1. Provides advice and training through its network of Export Assistance Centers.
  2. Offers access to financing programs and loan guarantees specifically designed to support small businesses in their export efforts.
  3. SBA provides technical assistance programs, including the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which grants funds to states to help small businesses participate in export activities.
In Summary

The internationalization of your company is an essential strategy for expanding your reach, diversifying risks, and accessing new growth opportunities. By overcoming cultural, regulatory, and financial challenges, your business can establish a solid presence in foreign markets. With the right support and strategic planning, the process of internationalization can become a catalyst for global success.

At Ola Branding, we are committed to providing you with the tools and knowledge necessary for your business to succeed internationally. Download our Ebook and take the first step towards the global expansion of your business!

 

Sources:
  1. Bonifacio, R. (2024, March 4). Navigating Global Growth: A Guide to Internationalization for Businesses – Shiftbase. Shiftbase. https://www.shiftbase.com/glossary/internationalization 
  2. ThinkwithGoogle. (2024, February 23). 6 Keys to Internationalizing Your Business. Think With Google. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/es-419/futuro-del-marketing/transformacion-digital/6-claves-para-internacionalizar-tu-negocio/
  3. Internationalization: What It Is, Process, Strategies, and Examples. (2023, March 7). HubSpot. https://blog.hubspot.es/sales/internacionalizacion
X