It is safe to say that the business world has taken a drastic turn within the past few decades. Whereas before the local market was the number one pressing matter on everybody’s mind, nowadays people are thinking more and more globally. Mere years ago, being an international establishment was reserved for just about the biggest companies on the market who weren’t afraid to throw their weight around. Nowadays you can become a successful operation on a global scale with even a relatively small startup company. Whether you happen to be selling toothpicks, computer parts, furniture, keyboards, laptops, radiators or just about anything else you can think of, going global is not only the easiest it’s been, but it is also more profitable than ever before, especially with partnerships.
If you haven’t been too sure about how your startup would do on an international scale, you are certainly not to blame. Keep in mind that not every single business would greatly benefit from being anything but local, as some are just much easier to run locally, while the potential payout is nowhere near great enough to be worth the risk, but those businesses are slowly becoming limited to food stalls and cleaning companies. Any business which tends to provide any kind of service or sell some sort of product probably has international prospects. It does seem rather scary to put your name and brand out there in the big wide world, but hopefully, after reading the following ways in which you could go global, you might reconsider.
Collaborate with companies abroad
Trying to go abroad with your business can be rather intimidating. All new people, all new connections to make, possibly a new venue and maybe even some more local staff to hire for your new establishment. That all sounds very costly and rather difficult to arrange, but it can all be solved rather easily when you come to one particular conclusion. That there is no point of reinventing the wheel yet another time. You are most probably not the only company in the market that is new to you. Considering there are thousands upon thousands of established businesses all over the world, there is no reason why you should have to do everything yourself. Surely, you can either come to an agreement with an existing company there with a mutually beneficial relationship of some sort, or you can find one which provides services allowing you to get your foot in the door, so you and your new business partner can say “our sourcing agent services sure did come through”. Existing companies should most definitely not be overlooked as ways in which you can expand your business abroad, and sometimes it may just be the start of a long-running partnership.
What can be said about the internet that hasn’t already been said before a million times? Despite how commonplace and ubiquitous it might be nowadays, a mere 2 decades ago it was only slowly beginning to show up in households in the western world. Even then, it was mostly reserved for the more technologically knowledgeable people, as the appeal was somewhat limited at the time. Only in the early 2000s did the more mainstream uses of the internet start to pop up, with myspace making its grand debut in 2003. Social media has only escalated in popularity since then, and while trends come and go when it comes to most popular websites at the time, the internet is most definitely here to stay. Especially, since it became a household necessity and incredibly popular in the mainstream since the iPhone reinvented the smartphone in 2007. Now that we have this grand establishing shot of the internet freshly in our heads, why not use it to your advantage? The internet has more than proven its worth as a business platform, providing easy online presence with social media such as Facebook or Twitter, without the need of a proper standalone website.
A global presence, and global advertising
Advertising anywhere else but the local area in which you operate within can prove to not only be difficult to accomplish properly, but it can be rather costly. Sticking with the topic of the internet, let’s look how you could utilise it to get your name out there not only in your local area, but on a global scale, for considerably cheaper. If you’re planning on having an online presence and advertising your company online successfully, then you need to first do some brief research first. For example, which social media would be the right ones to start advertising yourself on? This goes beyond having a company account on the site, although that in itself is a great asset which should never be overlooked, there are other ways in which you can actually get the site to advertise you to the people who could possibly take an interest in your services. Keep in mind that as time-consuming as it may be, there is nothing stopping you from running accounts on several different sites.
Which social media should you pick?
So, which social media to pick? Well, that depends on two things. First of all, you ideally want to pick one which is the most popular as that automatically exposes you to larger audience. Second of all, you need to see which social media actually fits your needs, and if the current user base is one which would actually care about your product.
Facebook comes in at #1 when it comes to popularity, automatically making it a top contender. That said, Facebook is usually riddled with ads, and they sometimes just get flat out ignored by a lot of users. Of course, that in itself should not put you off, as more and more companies are both making Facebook pages, as well as using it to advertise, being a clear indicator that it is indeed worth your time. The site has no specific direction so just about anything goes.
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Instagram is a popular platform, but it is not the kind of site on which you would really see adverts about law firms or stock exchanges do very well on. If the nature of your product or service comes off as a bit more laid-back or lifestyle oriented, then it’s worth looking into.
Right after Facebook, we have WhatsApp, but considering it is essentially an instant messaging client, there is basically no room for advertisement on there. Qzone and weibo are both incredibly popular, but are almost exclusively Chinese social media platforms, making it a rather specific target market. If your company has a China branch or is selling something which you think would do well in the Chinese market, then getting someone to setup and run a page for you in Chinese would probably be a decent idea. Everyone else, skip it.
Twitter is also one of the older social media sites around, myspace only being older than it by 3 years, but unlike myspace, it has shown that it is not going anywhere anytime soon. If you wish to have a platform on which you not only have a decently sized user base, but a system which allows for easy interaction with clients and customers, then this is the platform for you.