The 4P's to Jumpstart Your International Strategy
Ready for an actionable and detailed plan for how to go global? It’s the number one item requested by brand owners, general managers, and presidents when they pick up the phone to talk to Buzz.
We create strategies to fit a company’s revenue objectives, budget, and resources. The greater the revenue expectation, the more detailed the strategy and plan. During our intake process, one of the important questions we ask, is “what amount of revenue or percentage of your total revenue do you want to come from international?” This helps guide and shape the plan and our recommendations.
“what amount of revenue or percentage of your total revenue do want to come from international?”
To start the plan yourself (even if it is to start thinking about it), here are a few fundamental steps to get your international strategy underway.
Step 1: Prioritize the Place:
Identify the channel(s) and market(s) to expand into. It is best to start with one or maybe two channels to enter a new market with. You can always add more later, but the channels that you understand the best, have the most capabilities, and can efficiently support is where to start. Most brands start with D2C or B2B.
⭐PRIORITIZE: When we develop international plans for our clients, we prioritize markets by the largest revenue opportunity with the lowest barriers to entry.
To narrow down which countries to open first, identify the countries most like your home country. Language, similarity in rules, laws, business practices, and similar consumer preferences should be similar to what you know. These will be your primary markets. To get to your secondary markets, do research on your category and create a list of markets with large revenue potential but are different or more complicated than your country. These markets you will launch eventually but will not be the focus yet.
🔥 HOT TIP: While you are focused on launching in your primary markets, you can start the process of owning your IP in the secondary markets. Securing your domain name, social handles, and filing any trademarks to ensure that you have your ownership intact should be part of your strategy when you are ready to develop your launch plans for these markets.
Step 2: People:
The individuals or groups that will execute your strategy. Once the sales channel(s) is established, deciding on the structure to support expansion and meet the overall company strategy is crucial. Find a subject-matter expert to work with to lay out the options, the pros and cons to each business structure, and their recommendation for your business capabilities.
Common International expansion structures are:
· Internal employees sitting at headquarters
· Hybrid of key internal employees and in-market/regional employees
· Outside sales rep group with networks and relationships (non-employees)
· Subsidiary or JV in the market with local offices
Step 3: Process:
Set up a process for how the whole company can support the international partners. The goal is to create a workflow with the process and who on the team is responsible for which part of the process. We found developing different scenarios and walking through all the steps from start to finish to identify the operating procedures is the best way to ensure all the details are considered.
International functions and processes that need resources for support:
· Order input and process
· Shipment pack out
· New product introduction and launch
· Customer service support/hotline
Step 4: Plan:
Put the full strategy down on paper. This is your plan. Research shows just the act of putting a plan in writing (or typing) makes you 40% more likely to follow through. This allows you to have something to review each quarter (we highly recommend) and to share with new colleagues, potential investors, and industry experts.
If you are looking for help getting started on your international strategy and plan, or want to run some questions by us, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to see your international goals realized!