As an entrepreneur you envision your business developing into a booming success, it is one of the biggest aspirations to improve your business growth by reaching a larger audience. As an established local business owner, the next step would be to branch into a national market before tackling expanding at an international level. Here are a few tips to consider when expanding your business beyond South African borders.
Local and National Exporting
Online retail is a convenient, simple and safe method to introduce expansion for your business. With the use of e-Commerce, businesses are able to promote and sell their products on African-based eCommerce platforms. This allows for a greater reach to consumers in African countries, whilst maintaining the business’s local status.
Increasing brand exposure is essential to any business interested in growing their success, a business to business (B2B) eCommerce platform allows this with very little effort. This strategy is gaining frequent recognition and mass popularity. It is noted that the eCommerce platform you use to list your products should be suitable to the business and brand.
The use of a local representative offers direct insights into consumption, local interests, and consumerism. This is a beneficial technique to increase sales in new markets as the representative deliberates with potential clients, wholesalers, and retailers. This knowledge alone will allow the business to modify the brand and products accordingly, which results in successful expansion.
Due Diligence and Social Media
It is always recommended to research, plan and comprehend before attempting to expand a business. It is imperative to learn and recognize the dynamics of neighbouring countries, specifics such as the culture, societal norms and needs of their citizens. Knowledge is key, understanding the differing local markets is essential, gaining information and advice from professionals in their areas of expertise will prove valuable to the business. It is important to keep up to date with relevant government rules and regulations. It is a smart move to consider teaming up with a lawyer to discuss government procedures and the process of franchising in the selected country. Not only does this provide peace of mind but keeping up to date with changing legislations, complying with laws and requirements, and preventing litigation issues sustains the reputation of the business.
It is assumed that most entrepreneurs have a social presence on apps such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, but it is noted that many are unaware of how beneficial using these platforms could prove to building, developing and expanding their business network. A good tip is to follow accounts that offer insightful business knowledge, read, watch and learn on Youtube, LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Business groups offer the chance to network with members and form professional relationships. Group members share current news, legislation and any interesting or relevant business information. The possibility of mentoring and other membership perks is useful to have access too. Relating to your target audience and understanding that social media is a common popular form of communication and platform to stay up to date with current news will assist in growing the business.
Expanding into unknown territory may seem daunting but by following a formulated business strategy and ensuring you tick all the preparation boxes, expanding your business is attainable and will achieve the desired level of success.