With the recession now said to be safely behind us, many businesses are venturing out into new markets. Some are expanding locally while others are spreading their wings farther afield to foreign lands where there is virgin territory for their products and services. If you are a company director charged with leading your business into new markets, the following three steps are critical.
1. Give Your Team a More Localised Insight
When branching out into a whole new market, some people on your team may not understand the differences in language and culture. This is especially true when moving a branch overseas where you want to bring your key people along with you to aid in the organisation of the new branch. They will be responsible for interacting with customers and new recruits so it is vital for you to break down any barriers, especially in communication. If you need any inspiration, just look at how successfully Global FinTech has expanded in recent months.
One thing they did to expedite the process is to hire a professional translation team that is expert in business transition and marketing. These are the insights you can give your team even though it might be beneficial to hire outside help to facilitate the transition, but it is your team that will be ultimately responsible for the smooth transition so those are the ones who need a more localised insight.
2. Involve the Transition Team at Every Level
When you are first contemplating expanding and transitioning to a new market, it is crucial to get everyone on board at every level of the organisation. It is especially important to get key players on board with the idea that you are branching out into new territories. Get them excited and they will be happy to help build new teams. They won’t see those new players as competition but rather as building blocks to a new empire.
An excited team is going to be your best strategy in recruiting new staff where you are opening a branch and that excitement is going to be contagious. New recruits will catch the excitement and the engagement between old staff, and new hires will accomplish what months of training could never do. An excited team is motivated so get them involved from early on and their excitement and motivation will grow naturally. Remember, by involving them you are telling them they are important to the company and that, in itself, is a strong building-block to engagement.
3. Assess the Transition and Implement Changes before Moving On
Once out in the field in your new location, it is important to realize that what works at home may not be effective in a new market. You can train and train and train but unless you take the time to assess what is different you will never be able to successfully adapt to a new culture, a new market.
A great number of companies had the right idea when branching out to new markets but failed to see that the transition wasn’t complete yet. You can’t expect all people everywhere to have the same cultural behaviours, likes and dislikes, so until things are running smoothly you can’t walk away.
Take the time to involve your team and then they will be encouraged to help build up a new global location. Their excitement will rub off on new recruits who will then engage locals and before long you will have a thriving new location. However, take the time to assess how things are running before bringing the transition team home. Make any changes necessary so that your new branch will be answering to the needs of their own market. Only then can you go home happy and that is one big smile!
Another terrific resource on change: http://www.daniellock.com/9-change-management-principles/by