Hi! You’ve come to the right place to start the process of expanding your business into new countries.
Before you start selling your products or services abroad, it’s really important to decide which countries make sense for you. Which markets have the most demand for what your businesses offer? Do some pose legal or logistical challenges that you need to be aware of?
We’ll walk you through how analytics and tools can help you decide which markets offer the biggest opportunity for you.
Let’s say you’ve got a online shop selling hard-to-find vintage records. Business has been going really well at home in the UK, so you’re starting to wonder if expanding into new markets could be your next big step forward. The question is: where? From Portugal to Finland, and Ireland to France, there are some markets where your products could be a hit - and others where you’d be less likely to find success.
Fortunately, there are lots of tools you can use to gauge the situation in advance. You could start by looking at Google’s Market Finder. This free tool allows you to quickly analyze search traffic on keywords that are important to your business. For example, where do people do a lot of searches for vintage records? Countries that show a lot of search traffic for terms like these could be markets with lots of demand for your products. On the other hand, countries that don’t tend to generate a lot of searches for these terms probably aren’t your best bet. By using the Google Market Finder, you can make more informed decisions about where to invest in expanding your business.
Once you’ve found some countries that do a lot of searching for your products, use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or Bing’s Keyword Research Tool to find out how much competition there is for search ads. This will help you know whether you’re entering a market with few competitors, or whether you’ll be entering an already crowded space.
Another handy tool is your web analytics. Whether you’re using Google Analytics or any of the other common analytics tools, you can check whether people in other markets are already showing interest in your business. For example, imagine you’ve only shipped your products within the UK so far. You might notice that you’re getting a lot of website visitors from France. They’re browsing your website and learning all about you, only to realize that they can’t buy your products … yet. This could give you the insight that you might have a customer base waiting for you in France.
So far we’ve looked at tools to help you understand market demand and competition. Of course, there are some other considerations you should take into account when deciding which markets to focus on. For example, some countries may pose more legal, regulatory, or tax issues than others. You’ll want to get an idea of this before you start investing in a project to expand your business. Some markets may seem appealing you to “on paper,” but doing some research into these kinds of issues will help you avoid any nasty surprises. Fortunately, many governments have websites where you can find resources to help you answer these questions.
So let’s recap. Expanding your business into a new market could be a great way to grow. Before you jump straight in, use online tools to help you understand where there’s strong demand for your products. Then, make sure you’re not wandering into any legal or regulatory issues by doing some background research first. Once you’ve done that, you’re well on your way to growing your business in a new market.
Bringing your business to new markets in other countries has never been easier, thanks to the simplicity and availability of global advertising. Understanding which markets have the best potential will be the key to success. In this lesson we'll explore:
- how to identify potential markets using analytics
- researching search terms for international customers
- advertising on social networks.