What market & country choiceInternational Business Development strategy

Start-up , Scale-Up , Enterprise expanding your Business?

What are the learnings from  startups that have made the choice of international, as well as our advice on this subject:


Strengths and  Hurdles

An international development strategy has many advantages, but also obstacles not to be overlooked. On the plus side, going global allows companies to develop and secure their revenues by:

  • Starting to conquer new markets but also anticipate a defensive strategy on the domestic market
  • Achieving economies of scale
  • Dividing risks between different markets.
  • Keeping track of competitive landscapes, newcomers, market trends

An international presence is also a commercial argument, as it is an element of credibility to prospects.

As for the obstacles, there are at least 4:

  • Language: it is obviously a barrier to entry. While English usually makes it possible to be understood anywhere, mastering the language of the targeted territory is a real plus! It will allow you to communicate more smoothly and avoid misunderstandings.
  • Culture: a lack of knowledge of the local customs of the markets can make you fail. For example, the Chinese like to take all their time in negotiation and will translate the eagerness of the Westerners as a sign of weakness. Or the Russians prefer to negotiate as a team and will give little credibility to a company that delegates to them a single representative.
  • Legislation: it is already difficult to know the local legislation well, so mastering that of other countries is an arduous task. In order to avoid risks and identify possible opportunities, be sure to document yourself and surround yourself with specialists. In some countries like the US you cannot avoid the support of a lawyer
  • Adapting your offer to local demands: Mc Donald’s has conquered the world, but it hasn’t been done without some adjustments! In Asia, for example, french fries are served with a bag of seaweed; In the Philippines, burgers are accompanied by rice cakes; In India, the restaurant offers vegetarian burgers since the majority of the population does not consume beef or pork… To succeed internationally, it is essential to take into account local specificities and adapt its offer.

Developing your business strategy

The success of your international strategy requires a minimum of preparation. Before embarking, we must already be clear about the business model to be put in place. Several strategies of conquest are possible: e-commerce, creation of a local subsidiary, import of your products or services through partnerships with local distributors, resellers, franchisees, reps, etc.

You will also need to set your targets. The people who consume your offer locally will not necessarily be the same abroad. Market research will, therefore, be necessary to find out who your buyer persona is;

Finally, as part of your prospecting, you will need to rely on a piece of qualitative information, which will accompany your development.  We offer you a Getaway to smart data and Insights to support your decision-making process and Business deployment.

Adapting your marketing

To allow you to meet your local targets, your (web)marketing actions will, of course, have to adapt to different markets. The starting point is to have your site and your documents translated into English, or even directly in the languages of the countries concerned to gain proximity. However, translation work is not always enough. Ideally, it should be accompanied by marketing thinking to tailor messages and visuals to the intended targets.

Your SEO and social media strategy will also have to take local specificities into account. In China, for example, you’ll need to be referred to Baidu first, not Google. Also note that each country has its own social networks, on which you may have an interest in creating an account. Don’t forget that the opportunity to publish Ads campaigns online via Google and other media is available in multiple languages.

We can help you to take these success factors into practice

WE invite you to read our following articles on best international practices

Start-up Nation Israel

Build your international Network 

Born Global Enterprises

Emmanuel Facovi Co-Founder

Contact@ipanovia.com  ou  ici  sur linkedin


(Editor: Emmanuel Facovi)