Not going international? Make it an active decision

There is a lot of information and commentary that makes internationalising sound like the easiest thing in the world – and something that all start-ups should try to do. Though it is all meant positively and in support of the excellent changes that have made the process simpler, easier and more profitable – rarely do people mention the other option, which is that sometimes internationalising is not the right decision, for any number of reasons. The important thing is for the decision to be an active one based on research, markets and business requirements and opportunity.

For many, internationalising just happens. This can be when someone from a different country buys your product or uses your service, or someone contacts you asking to send something to their country. The response is a simple one – yes, of course. Even with clear evidence that there are some people in other countries who want to buy what you offer, the decision should not be taken lightly. Where are the priorities in your business overall? By spending your time making very low value sales abroad are you missing out on greater opportunities locally? Does your strategy have a clear direction – and do you have confidence that it will produce the results you want to achieve?

In other situations internationalisation offers a last hope when domestic sales have been unsuccessful, there are significant questions that need to be answered before making an active and accurate decision in this scenario. Why will you find success elsewhere when you have not done so at home? What makes that market more attractive and more likely to produce demand for your product? The answers must be backed up with evidence and research – a gut feeling is not enough.

So to point, internationalisation can be a fantastic opportunity. More importantly, it should always be an active decision and something you are aware of however small your business. This allows you to include it in plans, develop the right partnerships and learn with the future in mind. The answer will often be that no, this is not the right time for internationalisation, but with barriers becoming smaller, markets becoming saturated and market opportunities in other countries around the world becoming too large to ignore – knowing what internationalisation would mean for you, what you need to do it, and when would be the right time is very valuable for any business. So find out, explore and choose to make the internationalisation decision yourself and not wait for someone else to do it for you.

Will Evans
Managing Director

Posted in Blog.

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