There are a lot of ways to break into new markets and attract new customers – from selling through a third party to setting up an office on the ground in that market. The main goal of expanding into a new market is to increase your sales and market share, but you will get less resistance from the market if you are seen as being local.
You can get distributors to buy your product and then sell it to their own customers, therefore customers see themselves as dealing with a local company. This also means not having direct control over the selling, branding or marketing strategies that the distributor uses, essentially meaning that you do not have direct input on how your product will be represented in that particular marketplace.
You could buy or merge with a local company in that market, even if it is just buying a controlling interest in terms of shares in the company. This gives you a local business presence. By doing this, you are able to secure immediate access to an established market, as well as acquiring the local company’s customers and knowledge base, their technology, access to suppliers and an experienced workforce. Additionally, you do not need to establish a brand or make changes to meetthe licensing and compliance regulations of that market.
You may even consider setting up a strategic alliance with other companies in the market. A strategic alliance is a cooperative arrangement between two or more businesses and is designed to achieve a shared goal. Strategic alliances can take many forms depending on the industry. These alliances can include purchasing and distribution agreements, marketing and promotional collaboration, technology sharing and transfer agreements, or even joint product developments. This would not be the most effective way to show your company as being local, but it would help you to get your product/services established in that market.
You could set up a sales or marketing office in that market you are looking to expand to. This works well if all you need is a basic presence in the market. Opening your own sales or marketing office (or branch office) could be your gateway to that market. Using an office business centre to accommodate your staff or local hires, serves as a ready-to-go office that is already set up and the infrastructure is already in place.
Most office business centres also offer another product called virtual office solutions. This arrangement can give you a local address and telephone number, without needing to have a physical presence in the market. While toll-free numbers are great, nothing attracts local trust more than having a local phone number. With a VoIP telephone extension, your outbound calls to that market will display a local number on the customers’ call display, even if you are half-way around the world.
If Canada is on your list of places to expand your business to, you may want to read our whitepaper “Doing Business in Canada” to get more information on what is needed to expand into the Canadian market.