Branching Out: Secrets to Expanding Your Startup to a New Market
The economy is providing startups and new businesses the perfect opportunity to grow at the moment. Despite some uncertainties, you can see a steady growth affecting the entire market; more opportunities are being created and businesses are seizing those opportunities to grow alongside the market.
There are also emerging markets waiting to be conquered. Small and medium businesses are taking leaps and venturing into new markets in Asia. If you are thinking about making the same leap and entering new markets, here are the secrets you need to know.
Work with Local Partners
You don’t have to do everything yourself when venturing into a new market. In fact, you shouldn’t. What you want to do instead is find local partners that you can collaborate with. Local partners can bring several advantages that you cannot always find elsewhere.
For starters, local partners already have the know-how about the market you are entering. You save a lot of time and money on market research and can rely on the insights amassed by the companies you work with.
At the same time, you are also boosting your chances of success by gaining a better understanding of the market. Don’t forget that working with a local partner also allows you to navigate local laws and regulations safely.
Start with a Strong Team
The foundation of a successful business — especially in a new market — is its human capital. The team you set up for conquering the new market is your best weapon against the challenges that lie ahead. Having great local partners is the start; building a strong team is how you move forward.
There is a growing job market in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand due to the increase in new businesses being set up in those countries. Look for telecommunication jobs in Thailand, for example, and you will also see a lot of expats relocating to the country for the opportunities.
A strong team is one that is filled with capable team members. Rather than setting up a big team, focus on finding the right people for strategic roles and work from there. You can stay lean and efficient for longer with this approach.
That brings us to our last secret: stay lean. Staying lean means keeping everything effective and efficient. No, you don’t have to return to bootstrapping just for the sake of saving money. Instead, keep the entire operation lean so you can increase your return on investment (ROI). The investments you make upon entering a new market dictates how quickly your business can break even and what kind of ROI you can achieve in the first year.
Staying lean also lets you be more flexible, which is an advantage you don’t want to miss in a new and challenging market. Everyone else is adapting to market changes at an incredible pace; the only way you can keep up with competitors is by keeping your operation efficient.
These secrets are the ones to keep in mind as you make the decision to expand to Asia or any other new markets you are eyeing. With the right approach, branching out to new markets will take your business to new heights.
Originally published at Entrepreneur News and Startup Guide.