International marketing

7 Steps to Grow Your Company Into an International Business

Elizabeth Pokorny
Elizabeth Pokorny
Updated on
October 24, 2023
7 Steps to Grow Your Company Into an International Business

Are you looking to take your company to the next level and expand into international markets? The road to global success can be challenging, but with the right strategy and approach, it’s possible to grow your company into an international business.

In this article, we will outline seven key steps you can take to achieve this goal and take your business to new heights. From conducting market research and identifying potential partners, to developing a solid business plan and finding the right financing, we’ll provide you with the tools and insights you need to succeed in the global marketplace.

So if you’re ready to take your company to the global stage, read on for our top tips on how to grow your company into an international business.

Reasons to Grow Your Company Into an International Business

There are many reasons why a company might want to grow into an international or even global business. Some of the key reasons include:

  1. Expanding your customer base: By entering the global market, you can tap into a whole new pool of potential international customers and increase your overall sales.
  2. Diversifying your revenue streams: Doing business in multiple countries reduces your reliance on any one market and protects your business from economic downturns or other challenges in a specific region.
  3. Increasing your competitiveness: Global competition is intense, and by expanding into international markets, you can stay ahead of the curve and maintain your competitive edge.
  4. Accessing new resources and talent: International expansion can also provide you with access to new resources and talent that can help your business grow and thrive.
  5. Building your brand: Expanding into international markets can also help you build your brand and establish a global reputation for your company.
  6. Increasing your profitability: Ultimately, the goal of international expansion is to increase your profitability and generate more revenue for your business. By tapping into new markets and customer bases, you can drive growth and increase your bottom line, taking your company from small business to thriving multinational enterprise.

Challenges of International Expansion

As we have seen, expanding your business into international markets can provide many benefits. However, there are also challenges and obstacles to consider when you are looking to expand your domestic business into international trading, from language barriers and cultural differences to legal and financial issues. Let’s take a look at some of the main difficulties that entrepreneurs face when expanding their business overseas.

  1. Linguistic and cultural issues: Different countries and regions have their own unique cultures, customs, and business practices – not to mention local languages – and it’s important to understand and respect these differences when entering a new market.
  2. Legal, regulatory, and logistical issues: International expansion often involves coordinating complex logistics, such as shipping products, handling customs, and managing supply chains, and this can be difficult and require specialized knowledge and expertise. You will also need to navigate a range of legal and regulatory issues, and in some cases, as we’ve already noted, you may need to communicate with customers, partners, and other stakeholders in a language that is not your own.
  3. Financial issues: Expanding into foreign markets can be costly, and you may need to invest significant time and resources to make it a success. You will also face stiff competition from other companies who are looking to enter the same markets, and it’s important to have a strong value proposition and a clear differentiator to stand out from the competition.
  4. Time requirements: Finally, expanding into international markets can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, and it will require significant resources from your team.

It’s important to carefully weigh the potential benefits and challenges before making the decision to expand your business into international markets. If you do decide that the advantages of international expansion outweigh the risks, read on to learn more about the steps you can take to make your dream of growing your business into an international company a reality.

Step 1: Conduct Market Research

The first step in growing your company into an international business is to conduct market research and identify potential markets for expansion. This involves gathering and analyzing data on the economic, political, and cultural environment of the countries you are considering, as well as the demand for your products or services in their local markets. 

By conducting thorough market research, you can gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in each potential market, and make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts.

There are a variety of sources you can use to gather information for your market research, including trade publications, government websites, industry reports, and market research firms. 

You can also talk to other businesses who have successfully expanded into international markets, and learn from their experiences. By taking the time to conduct thorough market research, you can increase your chances of success and avoid costly mistakes.

Step 2: Develop Your Business Plan

The next step is to develop a solid business plan. This involves setting specific goals and objectives for your international expansion, and outlining the strategies and tactics you will use to achieve them. Your business plan should include a detailed market analysis, a competitive analysis, a marketing strategy, a sales plan, a financial plan, and a plan for managing operations and logistics.

Having a well-developed business plan is critical for success in international markets. It will help you stay focused and on track, and provide a roadmap for your expansion efforts. It can also be a valuable tool for securing financing and convincing potential partners and investors of the viability of your business. 

By taking the time to develop a solid business plan, you can increase your chances of success and avoid common pitfalls.

Step 3: Identify Partners and Distributors

The third step in developing your company into an international business is to identify potential partners and distributors. 

This involves finding companies or individuals who can help you enter and succeed in your target market. For example, if you are a product-based business, you may want to find a distributor who can help you sell your products in a new country. If you are a service-based business, you may want to find a local partner who can provide the necessary expertise and connections to help you expand.

In many cases, partnering with local companies or distributors who have existing relationships and knowledge of the market can be beneficial. They can help you navigate the local business environment, and provide valuable insights and connections. 

When identifying potential partners and distributors, it’s important to do your due diligence and carefully evaluate their reputation, experience, and track record. 

You should also consider factors such as their ability to represent your brand, the value they can add to your business, and the alignment of your goals and values. By partnering with the right companies, you can increase your chances of success and gain a valuable ally in your expansion efforts.

Step 4: Develop a Marketing and Sales Strategy

Next, you’ll need to develop a comprehensive marketing and sales plan. This involves identifying the most effective ways to reach and engage your target customers in your new market. 

One way to do this is by creating a multilingual website with Weglot. This allows you to provide your website in multiple languages, which can make it more accessible and appealing to customers in different countries.

Using Weglot to create a multilingual website has many benefits. 

It can increase your visibility and reach in new markets and make it easier for customers to find and engage with your business. It can also improve the user experience and help build trust and credibility with customers, particularly if you take the time to localize your website

Weglot makes it easier for you to manage and update your website in multiple languages and track the performance of your website in different markets. By creating a multilingual website with Weglot, you can increase your chances of success and drive growth in your new market.

Step 5: Secure Financing

The fifth step in expanding your business internationally is to secure the necessary financing. As mentioned earlier, developing a solid business plan is critical for success in international markets, and it can also be a valuable tool for securing financing. 

When seeking financing for your international expansion, you should have a well-developed business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. This will provide potential investors with a clear understanding of your business and how you plan to use the funds to drive growth.

There are a variety of financing options available, including loans, grants, and investments from venture capital firms or angel investors. When evaluating these options, it’s important to carefully consider the terms, interest rates, and repayment schedules to ensure that they are a good fit for your business. 

By securing the necessary financing, you can ensure that you have the resources you need to successfully grow your business in international markets.

Step 6: Open a Local Presence

The next step is to establish a presence in your target market. This may involve setting up a physical office or retail location, hiring local staff, and registering your business with the appropriate government agencies. 

Establishing a presence in your target market can help you build relationships and credibility with customers, partners, and other stakeholders, and make it easier to navigate the local business environment.

If your business is digital-only – for example, if you run an ecommerce website and don’t have a physical presence anywhere – you can still establish a presence in your target market by adapting your website and marketing materials to the local culture and language. 

As mentioned earlier, one way to do this is by creating a multilingual website. This will make your business far more accessible and appealing to customers in different countries and help you to build a presence in the local market, albeit a digital one. 

By establishing yourself in your target market, even as a digital-only business, you can increase your chances of success and build a strong foundation for future growth.

Step 7: Monitor and Adjust Your Strategy

The final step in growing your company into an international business is to monitor and adjust your strategy as needed. 

International expansion is a dynamic process, and you may need to adapt your approach as you learn more about your target market and customers. It’s important to regularly review your performance and make adjustments to your strategy as needed to ensure that you are meeting your goals and maximizing your opportunities.

To effectively monitor and adjust your strategy, you will need to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales, customer satisfaction, and market share. You should also regularly conduct market research and gather feedback from customers, partners, and other stakeholders to stay informed about the latest developments and trends in your target market. 

By continuously monitoring and adjusting your strategy, you can ensure that you are on track to achieve your goals and drive sustainable growth for your business.

Reach New Customers by Expanding Your Business Internationally

Expanding your business into international markets can provide many benefits, such as expanding your customer base, diversifying your revenue streams, and increasing your competitive edge. By entering new markets, you can increase your overall sales and protect your business from economic downturns or other challenges in a specific region. 

International expansion can also provide you with access to new resources and talent, as well as the opportunity to build your brand and establish a global reputation.

One way to support your international expansion efforts is by using Weglot to create a multilingual website. Weglot detects, translates, and displays your website in over 110 languages instantly. 

Providing your website in multiple languages can make it more accessible and appealing to customers in different countries, which can have a big impact on your expansion efforts.

Take the first step on your global expansion journey by trying Weglot for free on your website.

Discover weglot

Ready to display your website in multiple languages?

Try Weglot on your website for free (no credit card required).

In this article, we're going to look into:
Sign up for free trial