Going Global as a Small Business

One of the end-game goals of most entrepreneurs is to reach a point where they’re recognized internationally. Thanks to the internet, it’s surprisingly easy for your product to reach different cultures, countries and languages. However, this alone isn’t enough to consider yourself as a global business. Unfortunately, small companies have a much harder time breaking into international markets because they don’t have the right connections, staff or knowledge required to make it overseas. While this can be something you slowly work on over a long period of time, there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

However, there are a couple of strategies that you can employ today that will not only increase the number of international opportunities available to you but could help you enter foreign markets on a much lower budget.

Photo by Brett Zeck on Unsplash

Consider which countries you want to appeal to

While it’s possible to appeal to the world as a whole with your product, we highly suggest that you pinpoint your focus on a particular region of the world or country. Some products do much better on a global stage because it’s something that everyone can use, such as a smartphone. However, even such a widely-used tech product can have smaller markets and demands in certain areas. For instance, wealthy areas of the world love big-name brands such as Apple and Samsung. However, areas with dense populations and lower income might prefer budget smartphones with a heavy emphasis on value.

As a result, you need to consider which countries your products appeal to. This can be difficult to identify with minimal research. This is why it’s important to do some preliminary research on potentially viable markets before you decide to invest in your growth in another country’s markets.

Do your research as early as possible

Once you have identified those opportunities, it’s time to start doing research. Everything from financial options to production and even cultural differences needs to be considered when performing research. The idea here is that you’re looking for any risks or challenges involved in breaking into a new market.

On the financial side of things, it’s worth establishing flexible options so that you can easily pivot your business when you want to capitalize on overseas opportunities. For example, having a way to send money to Pakistan could be helpful if you wanted to set up a means of production in South Asia. Similarly, having support for local payment methods and not just cards and PayPal. In the context of Pakistan, this could mean local options such as EasyPaisa and payOrder. Doing this type of research will greatly improve your chances of breaking into an international market simply because you’ll be more relatable.

Establish a small team of experts

If you want to go global as a small business, you’ll need to organize a team of experts that can smooth out the process. This can include translators, local influencers and even support staff that can speak the language. With this small team of specialists, you’ll have a much easier time communicating with an overseas audience and also appealing to them through changes in your branding and products. It can be difficult to find the right people for the job. Networking is your best friend here and doing your research on local influencers to work with can make a huge difference in your success rates.

One of the essential skills of becoming an entrepreneur is being able to lead a team. Even if it’s a relatively small but diverse group of specialists, having a team that is focused on international growth will make a huge difference in the long run. Not only will you be able to communicate with overseas customers, but you’ll also be able to change your branding or products and services to fit a different market. You should never underestimate the cultural differences in overseas markets and how they can affect both the products you create and your marketing materials. By respecting these cultural differences, you’ll have a much easier time growing your business in a completely different environment.

Going global as a small business can be surprisingly challenging, especially if you’re working with a relatively small team or have a limited budget to spend on overseas expansion. However, with the right approach and a team to support you, we believe that it’s one of the most attainable goals for a confident entrepreneur. If you’re looking for something challenging to push your business to its limits, then attempting to break onto an international stage may be enticing thanks to the rewards it can offer.

SMEs and Professionals Unite During this time of Crisis!

The effect of the corona virus (COVID-19) won’t be just on people’s health, but it will have an effect on the world’s economy and people’s mental health. Here is a good podcast of the World Economic Forum that you can follow:

The International Labor Organization also mentions that the COVID-19 Pandemic will result to approximately 25 Million people who will lose their jobs: https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_738742/lang–en/index.htm

Regardless of how huge the effects will be, what we know is that the Corona Virus will definitely impact all of these. Given the uncertainty of things and the future, I’d like to believe that the strength of each one of us collectively will help us weather through a crisis like this.

In our country, the Bayanihan spirit of the Philippines shines through in times like these. A lot of negativity and fake news have circled the internet, and a few people talk about the help that’s going around. I’ve been seeing a lot of people and groups stepping up though to help certain segments of society. An example is that the freelancing community that I’m a part of have been teaching employees how to effectively work from home. What’s interesting that speakers were from different professions and had different backgrounds.

I think we can all do our share to focus and promote the good things happening in our community.

This morning, when I woke up, I wondered how “in my own little way” as a blogger could I be able to help the people in times like this. My heart (as you all would know since I always talk about it) really goes out to business owners, professionals and freelancers who are affected by this crisis. The SMEs in the Philippines also make up 61.6% of the country’s employement (source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/01/03/helping-msmes-grow/). If they are negatively affected, their could be a huge hit on our country’s employment rate.

As I read all of the comments in Jason Dela Rosa’s Facebook Group Bounce Back PH, I thought of running articles and features from tomorrow onwards on different Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) whose businesses have been affected by the Corona Virus and the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

I think all these local businesses need all the support that they can get from all of us.

If you know a business which needs help, please share this form with them. I’ll be happy to write about them in the following days.

For all the articles about these local businesses and SMEs, I will share links at MommyGinger’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mommyginger/

Hope you can read about them and support them! Have a great day!

P.S. Please read my previous article on the Effects of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and Corona Virus on small businesses: https://mommyginger.com/short-and-long-term-effects-of-enhanced-community-quarantine-to-smes.html

Ask about their Day: Validate Assumptions about your Customer

When creating a business, we are so quick to judge always on what our customers want and need. Oftentimes, we assume that this is what they want and need because this is what we need and want for ourselves. To this, I say…
Wag ka masayadong assuming ha!” (Don’t assume too much!). Just kidding!

But seriously, we need to look deeper into what drives our target audience to connect with us, engage and eventually buy from us. I have been a victim of this also. I used to take research and customer validation for granted. I know that one of my strengths is connecting bits and pieces of knowledge to create a solution with the help of gut feeling, and oftentimes, my gut is right. But I know that we can’t just rely on gut nor just rely on statistics that we see online. We need to — get out of the building to validate these assumptions.

One tool that we’re using now for our business is called the Javelin board. We learned about it from Paul Pajo when he talked at our Ideaspace bootcamp.

Javelin Board

To understand more about the Javelin Board, check out this video!

Copy of the Javelin Board

It’s really easy to do and believe me, it does wonders. After validating your idea, you will basically have more than enough information to either push with the business idea that you have or to pivot and create/use a new approach, strategy, product or service.

This week and during the weeks to come, we will be validating our startup idea. If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or doctor/lawyer, please help us by filling out this survey: http://goo.gl/forms/w11TS7hkYrlBWPTq1

Thank you for helping us! Get out of the building and validate!

First Episode of GTV! Let’s all Love the Leap!

I have launched my own YouTube channel last April 8! Yehey! I, of course, forgot to tell you, my dear MommyGinger.com readers. I have just been so busy lately. How busy? I hibernated yesterday (that busy!). I slept at 6pm and got up at 9 am the next day. I haven’t slept like that ever — EVER! But  anyway, back to the topic. This is something that is very, very important to me.

For Feature

I’m so happy that I have finally launched it! I have prepared for a very long time for this. I didn’t expect that creating videos can take so much time and effort. I thought it was just something like uploading a video from my phone, but since we (the team) want to give you great content, we took the time to edit it and make it really informative.

I know how hard it is to finally take that leap into entrepreneurship. It takes a lot of guts and planning. I know that for those who do not have experience handling a business or for those who didn’t get to have any business subjects back in college, this would even be harder.

I created GTV so that I can share with you my experiences and so that other people can also share what they have learned and share their own experiences, too.

Here is episode 1 of GTV Channel where I talk about the purpose of GTV.

I hope that you can subscribe to GTV Channel (http://bit.ly/gtvchannel) and please tell your friends about it! Also, please comment on this page and leave questions that you would want me to answer in one of the videos. Also, if you want to be featured or if you want your brand to be featured, please contact me at contact@gingerarboleda.com.