Thanks to technological advancements, the world has become a global village. This has opened up numerous growth and expansion opportunities for small businesses everywhere. As the market in developed nations becomes saturated and stagnant, small firms are looking to cash in on emerging markets.
According to PwC, emerging markets have grown twice as fast as advanced ones over the past two decades. These new economies were also more resilient to the severe economic downturn that affected first-world countries and were expected to remain on their growth path over the next 20 years. As a small business owner, you need to take note of these markets and find ways to expand your business overseas.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can market your products to consumers in developing economies in Africa, Latin America, Asia or the Middle East. Countries such as China, Brazil, South Africa, and Nigeria, present perfect opportunities for you to establish new business outposts. They are rich in natural resources, have a young, skilled workforce hungry for employment, and are undergoing rapid urbanization and robust GDP growth. All this combined with the emergence of a middle class make these markets ideal for small companies that want to boost their profits while establishing their international presence.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is never advisable, especially for small firms in saturated markets. Therefore diversifying your client base globally is a smart move. It means that you’ll have a way to offset any losses for your business should your current domestic market go through periods of uncertainty.
Challenges that your business expects to face in foreign markets include cultural and linguistic issues, volatile political and economic climates, corruption, bureaucracy and logistical problems. You will need all the help you can get to make inroads into these markets. One of the best ways to get the assistance you need is through harnessing the power of the internet.
If you want to build a thriving overseas business, learn to use the internet and social media to network with professionals in their native countries. For instance, Fahad Alrajaan is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Middle East. As the current Managing Director of Kuwait Real Estate Consortium, his insight and advice on the real estate and property sector would be invaluable. He also has a substantial background in banking and would be the go-to person for pointers on how the Middle East finance sector operates. You can connect with such professionals via social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
As you work on establishing your online presence, ensure that your business website and social media accounts are optimized for your audience. Hire translators or multi-lingual staff to communicate with your customers to ensure miscommunications are kept to a minimum. You should also conduct enough market research prior to launching your product. This will let you know how to reinvent or re-brand your product to suit the target consumers.
While there may be several hurdles to overcome in trading with emerging markets, your small business can experience tremendous growth as long as you are prepared to invest enough time and capital in your venture.