Are you planning on going internationally and could you still use some good tips and tricks? And were you not able to join our event last Thursday? Than you missed out on a lot! Isabel Brouwer of DutchBasecamp gave us great advise on how to successfully scale internationally. Fortunately, we took notes to share the info!
First of all, scaling internationally is no exact science. But guess what: entrepreneurship is no exact science. However you have to make choices.
Entrepreneurs often fail because they do not know how to make the right choices, like the right market to fit and the timing to go abroad. They also do not tend to keep in mind that they have to fail first, to become successful afterwards.
That is why it is so important to do the research and find a good fit, starting by creating a top 5 of markets which might be interesting to scale your company to. These 5 markets are the ones to be researched further. When choosing one out of 5, it is very important to keep some things in mind:
– What is the market attractiveness of those 5 markets. It is very important that your attractiveness fits with the crowd, if not, scaling makes no sense.
-What is your business attractiveness? What makes your product stand out amongst the competition if there is any?
-Are you able to create a product/ market fit?
-What is your affordable loss? How much money and time are you willing to lose in the process? If you are not willing to lose a lot, do not pick the biggest markets. Don’t make it as if you’re going backpacking, it does not make sense to go abroad when you do not have the money to do proper follow ups.
Those bullets should be validated. Off course, you can start from home, but is very important to physically visit the market. Do your research and talk to local people. Find the right entrepreneur to share their experience with you and just as important, find your customers and ask what their needs are. Reality is that finding the right locals to talk to can be a challenge. That does not make it less important though.
The bullets will not only be indicators to pick the market, they are also the base of your strategy when you scale to your new market. After you chose your market, it is time to create a strategy fitting to the market. With that comes the budget. Again, the budget will not be exact science, but it is what will get you there.
DutchBasecamp can help you through this process. The coaches are all very experienced with the subject and will coach you through the process, starting with a free master class. There is no recipe for internationalisation, so it is very important to keep talking to other people and learn from each other. Make sure you keep networking.
One other thing you should definitely keep in mind are the cultural differences when you go abroad. Not to worry though: there’s always the books. A good book to read to prepare you before going abroad is ‘The culture map’ of Erin Meyer. As the book says, she had mapped out all the cultural differences you need to keep in mind.