Expanding your business into new regions can feel like a huge step. It can feel like you are on top of the world or that you are finally starting to make it.
What many businesses do not realize, however, is that oftentimes when you expand into a new market, it is not so much a step forward, as it is more like starting from the very beginning. Your business model and your tools and systems might be up and running, but you need to completely relearn the cultural heritage and values of customers in this new region.
It’s one reason why companies find it so difficult to break into the Asian markets because they don’t start from a local viewpoint but rather try to copy-paste what worked for them in the west. To help you avoid this problem regardless of where you expand to, remember to live by these tips:
Use Translation Management Software
What is translation management software? Essentially it allows you to manage and expedite multiple translation projects at once. It works first by automatically translating the content in question and then acting as a content management and collaborative system that makes it easier for professional translators to fix the content and keep to your brand’s identity and personal voice.
Hire Locals to Help with Marketing and Logistics
The biggest mistake that a company can make when it comes to opening a new store or headquarters in a new country is to not hire locally for the job. Sure, you can send someone over to ensure that your brand identity and values are upheld and that your business’s culture gets translated over, but you need locals to run the show. Otherwise, you will just be using the same tactics that worked in a vastly different situation, and customers will notice that. By putting people from that country in leadership positions and throughout your company, you can better advertise and adapt your business to suit that environment.
Collaborate and Integrate
It can be hard for a foreign brand to gain traction, especially as you will be competing against well-loved local brands. A good way to integrate into the culture is to start collaborating with others in that community. Partner with local artists to create limited edition stock, work with local businesses to sponsor an event, and so on. By collaborating, you are working to integrate your brand into its new target market.
Give Back to the Community
Finally, remember that businesses are a part of the community, and to be accepted and loved by the communities there, you need to give back. It is another part of the integration, and you will need to collaborate to give back in meaningful ways successfully. This can be done by starting a charity, hosting an event, donating, and more. You will notice opportunities to give back as you operate and know that giving back is sometimes the single best way to advertise your business.