Select Page

International Business Expansion: First Timers’ Quick Guide

Apr 3, 2024 | Business

Expansion of one’s business into international markets is an essential component of building an international empire. However, it is often easier said than done. There are several hurdles that one must cross before one can bring their business into a new country. There are an estimated 333.34 million companies worldwide as of 2021, and the vast majority only serve their domestic market. Even reaching the point where you are considering international expansion is a very big step. Do you intend to enter the Canadian market or any other international market? Carefully consider the following strategies and processes to allow your international expansion to go off without a hitch. 

Partner With a Company That Understands the Local Market 

International expansion can be viewed simply as a transactional decision, but this is a mistake. If you are thinking only about how you can increase profits by expanding internationally, then you are missing the point. Profit growth is just one of a myriad of goals that you have when expanding internationally.

Consider partnering with a company that already operates in the market you are interested in expanding into. A local partner knows what the local customs and expectations are. They can help you navigate a market that you are not as familiar with. They can also help you avoid making any major mistakes that could cause you to lose business.

Smiling businesswomen handshake over the table

Collaborate with a company already established in your target market for smoother expansion.

Craft Your Pitch for a Specific International Market 

Every customer wants to feel like you are speaking directly to them with your marketing efforts. This is why creating a unique marketing campaign for the international market you expand into is critical. Fabrice Testa of Maana Electric spoke with Forbes about this and stated: 

Understand first the market dynamics and specifics. Perhaps there are some language or cultural aspects to take into consideration. Some countries also have different purchasing habits. As an entrepreneur, you must customize your offer to the market.

In an international market, you have the flexibility to create a different look and feel to the marketing efforts. Spend time with your marketing team to develop the best possible messaging for your target international markets. You will need to put some hours into this project to put your best foot forward. 

Understand Your Product’s Value in International Markets 

It is interesting and informative to learn about the value of the products that you offer in international markets. After doing a little digging, you might be surprised to learn that your product has a different meaning and is seen in a different light than it is seen in your domestic market. People in the international market might literally use the product in a different way than people in your domestic market. They might also just value the product in a different manner than you had imagined. Understanding how your product is viewed in various markets helps you discover how to market your product to the masses in those international markets. 

Two businesswomen looking at business targets on a world map on the screen

Discover the value of your offerings in international markets.

Align Your Business Expansion Across Time Zones 

Depending on the specific international markets that you expand into, it is possible that you will need to adjust your hours of operation to conform with the various time zones of the new market you have entered. 

The world is divided into a total of 24 time zones. You need to consider which time zones your new international market exists in compared to the time zones that you operate in via your domestic time zone. The difference in time between where your domestic market is physically located and which time zones the international business expansion exists in is a big deal. You don’t want to attempt to reach people in the new international market in the middle of the night when they are likely asleep. You need to be respectful of the hours that they keep in the international market, and that means calculating the time differences between the two. 

To best cater to people in the new market, you should change your hours of operation to cater to the new market that you are attempting to work in. If you do so, you can speak with people in international markets during periods that work best for them. That is a polite thing to do and a great way to form a sense of respect and trust with your new international partners. 

People holding digital devices with a global time zone concept.

Adapt to the different time zones of the new market you’ve entered.

Check Into Government Support Options 

Many governments around the world wish to encourage business development within their borders. As such, it is common for those governments to offer support and insurance programs for businesses that plant roots within their borders. Not only that, but it might be possible for some to get tax breaks and other incentives to move operations into a new country. Research available programs in any given country that you are considering expanding into. 

In Canada, for example, the following programs exist to incentive companies to open up shop within the country: 

Global Skill Strategy 

This program is designed to help fast-track the employment of international workers to allow them to enter the country more quickly than they otherwise could have been. This helps businesses get their operations up and running quickly. 

Accelerated Investment Incentive 

This offer allows companies to write off the cost of a significant amount of the cost of new equipment, such as newly acquired capital assets and equipment from the year that it is purchased. This is designed to make the initial start-up costs associated with starting a business in Canada less of a burden. 

Strategic Innovation Fund 

Major innovation projects that are started in Canada can benefit from funds established within the Strategic Innovation Fund. It provides things such as R&D research funding, large-scale investment attraction and innovation, and support for growth and expansion. 

These are just some of the government support programs that can assist a new business that is expanding into Canada. Every jurisdiction makes its own laws and forms its own incentives to encourage business expansion within its borders as well. Research each one individually to determine which programs your business may qualify for. 

Let Us Help

Ready to take the leap into an international business expansion? Contact us today for invaluable insights and personalized guidance on launching your project. Our expert team is equipped with the latest strategies and resources to help you navigate every step of the journey toward global success.

Related Content