How do I take the first steps of internationalization?

When a company decides to go international there are few matters to be taken under consideration before jumping that train.

The obvious ones are:

  • Are the business idea and the solutions built and offered solid enough? 
  • Do you know the wanted market and local specific culture well enough?
  • Are there particular legislative matters you need to know?
  • Do you have enough experience, understanding and know-how to do what it takes?
  • Is the company financially in a situation where internationalization is justified?

If the above questions are no brainers and your team is sure that there is nothing there you need to further explore, then you are maybe able to start taking first steps.

It starts with Why

Going international is like building any other business. “It starts with Why”, as Simon Sinek would say. Why would someone buy my product/service at a particular new market? Why are we going there really? Why are we better than the competition in that market? Why, Why, Why…..

You have to be able to build a concrete step-by-step plan about how you would proceed and which are the procedures at each step on the way. You need to revisit this plan as you find out more and more along the way.

Make sure that you are well aware of different funding, support tools and instruments provided by f.ex. governmental institutions. Also, find out exactly which instruments could be available for your company at which stage of your internationalisation.

The first steps after all the preparative work is well taken care of: 

  1. Getting enough market information 
  2. Getting few pilots and a few paying customers 
  3. Revisiting the plan.