Following up on my previous posts, here are five final ways to find new (or hidden) global markets....
1. Acquire companies in different parts of the world to lay the foundation for future growth and leadership in a variety of industries. If you can afford to make the financial investment, this is a strategy for the bold, growth-minded international strategist. Wal-Mart illustrates how difficult it can be to take a domestic concept and go global. After eight years and $1 billion in losses, Wal-Mart is selling its 85 German stores to Metro AG, the country's biggest retailer for an undisclosed amount.
Lesson learned: Take it one country at a time and be prepared to change the formula that brought you domestic success for each foreign market you enter.
2. Establish a strategic global alliance (SGA). An SGA is a business relationship established by two or more companies to cooperate out of mutual need and to share risk in achieving a common objective. This strategy works well for market-entry or to shore up existing weaknesses and increase competitive strengths.
When I first started exporting foodstuff, I contacted one of the largest Japanese trading companies in the world: Mitsui & Co., Ltd. They had a local office in Chicago and did a significant amount of exporting to Japan. I approached them about piggybacking my products with theirs. Since we had the suppliers and they had the established distribution channels and customers base, it was a good match.
By combining my company's gourmet food items with their beef products, we were able to provide extra value to customers throughout Japan. For many years we went on to export container loads of product every month.
That experience taught me the importance of SGAs in growing a business internationally .... especially for SMEs.
3. Globalize your business by forming worldwide product groups by function. Your design can be done in California; your manufacturing can take place in China and your distribution might start in Antwerp. Together, you have a powerful global network.
4. Form joint-ventures in places where you desire to do business. For example, many years ago, JC Penny had developed three alternatives for implementation in global markets: (1) owning and operating JC Penny department stores, (2) licensing for forming joint ventures with local partners, and (3) exporting private-brand merchandise to be sold through other retailers. Since then, the Internet has fostered another alternative for growth.
5. Market your business aggressively and in the language your buyers understand. For example, if you make one style of an electrical component, what happens if the market changes and your buyers no longer need your particular type of component or they learn how to source it cheaper elsewhere and on their own? In a case like that, it is best to supply many grades, more styles and more types of electrical components to ensure at least one product will always be in demand.
Global competition requires quality products designed to meet ever-changing customer needs and rapidly advancing technology. Develop your global strategy. Refine your international business practices. And discover every imaginable hidden market for your products and services.
You will transform your business in 2007 and take the lead in the world of expanding customer choices.
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5 Ways to Find New (or Hidden) Global Markets
5 More Ways to Find New (or Hidden) Global Markets
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