We are currently in a highly competitive, dynamic innovation economy and so if you have a disruptive idea- you need to act fast! Whats becoming most integral to the success of a startup is quickly moving towards internationalizing your idea.
For startups, every day counts: failure to reach potential consumers or an inadequate patent protection can obliterate even the most brilliant idea before it hits the local market.
But its increasingly important for startups to look beyond the local market. As a young entrepreneur you may not know where to begin your international expansion. Below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Start local, and go global: Your local market is ideal to start your business. You are familiar with the economic reality, the regulations and you know your customer, which makes launching a business relatively easy. However, at some point – especially if you operate in a small country in the B2B sector, the market may be too small.
- Explore industry-specific markets: It may also be that the product you have created does not inspire much interest locally, but you have reasons to believe that customers in other countries will be interested in it. For example, in Poland, where digital revolution in health care is still not under way, telemedicine solutions are not selling. However, they may be of interest to clients in the United States.
- Increase profitability: You have reasons to believe that you will be able to capitalize on your experience in a market that will provide you with a higher profit margin. It is all about the economies of scale – you keep the costs at their current level while increasing the profitability of your business.
- Steer away from local competition: You have created a B2B solution and operate within a market with few entities that you can sell your product to. A Polish entrepreneur who has developed tailor-made solutions for the energy sector and intends to operate in Poland will soon realize that the market is highly monopolized, leaving the new business with very limited growth possibilities.
- Explore markets that facilitate startups: Other markets provide you with more development opportunities and, very often, legal solutions that are more beneficial for young entrepreneurs. A growing number of countries throughout the world are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of startups and their economic impact. To attract young entrepreneurs, many introduce solutions that facilitate doing business. Switzerland, for instance, has created a special zone for blockchain start-ups, where such businesses have greater development opportunities. In turn, UK regulators have put in place a fast regulatory pathway for fintech start-ups.
Expanding your business into foreign markets is a risk worth taking. You just need to do your due diligence and make sure that you have the necessary know-how. Thus, teaming up with professionals who know what it takes to succeed internationally is always a good idea.
Startup competions such as Bridge to MassChallenge Warsaw can help you in choosing the right market, learning how to optimise your operations, gain funding beyond the seed stage and get connected to potential clients and business patners.
Prepare yourself for the next step and make sure you have all the help you can get.
This blog is by the Foundation for Technology Entrepreneurship.