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Three Keys to International Expansion

July 14th, 2014

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By Mark Fritz

Thanks to today’s communication technologies, businesses can operate wherever they choose in a way they simply couldn’t have imagined three decades ago. This means that your competition at home could be just as easily be based across the world as across the street. But equally, you could be the competition in someone else’s back yard!

Many of the barriers to international business are either coming down or no longer exist. Today, expanding internationally is all about addressing three main areas: opportunity, focus and leadership. And it is no surprise that they are the same areas you need to address at home.

Opportunity

As businesses in other countries see the opportunities here in the UK, so can you see opportunities internationally, and it starts by choosing to look for them. So jump on a plane and go and meet some people; visit foreign exhibitions; use LinkedIn to find companies who can help you. If you want to find opportunities, you need to start to explore!

Focus

It is all about understanding the difference your business makes (the WHY), and how your WHY provides something that is missing in other international markets. When you clearly know your competitive advantage (your WHY), it is also easier to spot the opportunities, wherever they may be located.

Leadership

What makes you successful here in the UK is what will help you become successful internationally. If you have learned to adapt your leadership and influence for the different people you already do business with, then it proves you have the ability to adapt to international markets too. Remember, all customers are not alike, and people from different parts of the UK think and do business in different ways too.

Lastly, there is one more key ingredient: In business today, organisations often look for partners who can help to address an opportunity in a new market.  These partners not only help you enter this new market…they also are a great source of learning for both you and your team.

Remember, success internationally begins and ends with “choice.” Before you see the real opportunities, it is about making the choice to look for them.   Then, it is using your WHY to choose those opportunities that fit your vision and strategy for the business. And third, it is about choosing the right partner who helps you create success faster and also helps learn faster along the journey to your success.

 

mark-fritzMark Fritz is a speaker, visiting Professor, author and mentor who has lived and worked in Singapore, Egypt, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, UK and the USA (his home country). He has a particular interest in helping leaders to drive more ownership for achievement in their global teams. His new book is Lead & Influence: Get More Ownership, Commitment, and Achievement from your Team.

More at: markfritzonline.com

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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